Expanding the army in the fight against burn scars

Ms Madeleine Jacques1, Ms Stephanie Wicks1, Mrs Claire Toose1

1The Childrens Hospital At Westmead, Westmead, Australia


Background:Burn injuries require specialist management to heal and prevent contractures which may lead to devastating life-long functional limitations. The Kidsburns Telehealth service enables equitable state-wide access to specialist burns expertise, allowing a large proportion of minor burn injuries to be treated closer to home. This presentation will provide an update on the Kidsburns Murrumbidgee telehealth project with specific emphasis on the important extension to include allied health.

Main body:Collaborative management of children across NSW has decreased travel time, cost and family disruption, and enabled local supported management of minor burn injuries; this is only effective if an equitable service can be provided otherwise children are treated at CHW. In 2016 >25% of children attending lived outside of Sydney.

In the Murrumbidgee LHD, a structured and supported rollout of such services is in progress, culminating in the development of a collaborative care model. This has been achievable with significant education and up-skilling of local staff. Similar investment to date has not been reciprocated in rural scar management and rehabilitation, resulting in limited capability and capacity to manage burn injury scars outside of CHW. Local allied health outreach strategies are being formulated to address not only the geographical barriers, but additional financial and social factors which impact on a family’s ability to engage in a successful therapy program.

Conclusion: Specialist expertise is required in the treatment of paediatric burn injury and scar prevention/management. The Murrumbidgee telehealth project has supported local burn management but requires more formal collaborative processes to include allied-health staff engagement to deliver ongoing scar management and join the fight against scarring.


Madeleine has worked as a Nurse at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead since 2009. She has found a passion in the challenging and unique area of paediatric burn injury and is currently employed as a Nurse Practitioner in the outpatient burns and plastics treatment centre.

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