Effectiveness of a hydrogel dressing as an analgesic adjunct to first aid for the treatment of acute paediatric burn injuries: A prospective randomised controlled trial protocol

Miss Maleea Holbert1,2, Dr Bronwyn  Griffin1,2,3, Professor Roy Kimble1,2,3

1Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Centre for Children’s Health Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, 2Pegg Leditschke Children’s Burns Centre, Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia, 3Faculty of Health, School of Nursing, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, Australia


Hydrogel dressings have gained widespread use in the pre-hospital setting for acute burn injuries (Fein et al., 2014), with anecdotes to suggest these dressings provide analgesia via an evaporative cooling effect (Cuttle et al., 2008). Empirical evidence is lacking on the analgesic properties of Burnaid® hydrogel dressings for the treatment of acute burn injuries, and to date no studies have been conducted investigating the effectiveness of hydrogel dressings in paediatric burn patients. This study will determine if Burnaid® is an effective treatment for reducing pain in the acute burn period. It is hypothesised that Burnaid® will provide superior pain relief in comparison to plastic wrap, which is the current recommended acute wound covering for burn injuries. A single-centre, superiority, two-arm parallel group, randomised controlled trial is being conducted to assess the effectiveness of Burnaid® hydrogel dressing as an analgesic adjunct to first aid for the treatment of paediatric burns. Participants include children aged between 0 – 16 years with an acute thermal burn injury (total burn surface area of < 20%) presenting to the Department of Emergency within 24 hours of the burn occurring. Participants are randomised into one of two treatment groups: 1) Plastic wrap (control arm) or 2) Burnaid® (intervention arm). The primary outcome is the intervention effect on reducing acute pain. Recruitment for this trial commended in September 2017 and is expected to be finalised by October 2018. This study replicates a real-world scenario in order to identify clinically significant analgesic and would healing effects.


Maleea Holbert is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research. Her current research is investigating the effectiveness of a hydrogel dressing as an analgesic adjunct to first aid for the treatment of acute paediatric burn injuries.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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