Assessing burns in the community pharmacy: a secondary prevention initiative

Dr Lisa Martin1,2,5, Miss Karis Butler2, Miss Siobhan Connolly4,5, All member of the ANZBA Prevention Committee5

1University Of Western Australia, Crawley, Australia, 2Fiona Wood Foundation, Mudoch, Australia, 3Burn Service of WA, Murdoch, Australia, 4NSW Statewide Burn Injury Service, North Shore, Australia, 5Australia and New Zealand Burn Association Prevention Committee, , Australia


Secondary prevention is aimed at early treatment to optimise outcomes. In burn injury, this involves good burn first aid and early appropriate management. Delays to medical attention can cause burn wound conversion, wound infection, and worse scarring due to surgical delays. Increasing community awareness of the need for appropriate medical attention is important.

Delays can occur because patients present to pharmacies for initial treatment and can be reluctant to seek other health care options. A CPD educational article for community pharmacists was produced by the ANZBA prevention committee. This provided role relevant information about burn first aid, wound assessment, dressing choice, referral reasons, and advice.

Two case scenarios were included; one which was a child with a small but deep contact burn requiring referral, and the other was an adult with a scald burn which did not require referral. In addition a quick reference card was created for pharmacists for free and accessible download from the PSA and ANZBA websites.

The aim of the initiative was to empower them in the management and referral of minor burns.



Lisa is a research fellow who has worked in burns research for the past ten years. Her nursing background was in critical care, followed by clinical trials and research nursing in general medicine and cardiology. She has recently completed a PhD in psychological recovery after adult burn and currently has secured funding for post-doctoral work to continue her work in this area. She has a strong interest in burn prevention and is an active member of the ANZBA prevention committee.

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