Dr Devlin Elliott1
1Greenslopes Private Hospital, Newdegate Street, Greenslopes, Brisbane , Australia
There is a wide range of dressings available for partial thickness burns with large variations in cost. Hands are a critical area in relation to burns with serious complications if not treated appropriately. Functional limitations can be caused by contractures, poor healing or issues with sensation. When choosing a dressing one must consider wound healing properties, frequency of changes, pain and cost.
A 38 year-old right hand dominant carpenter was operating a sander that overheated resulting in his cotton gloves lighting on fire. This resulted in bilateral superficial to mid partial-thickness burns to his hands including the digits and web spaces. This is a very painful injury due to the high concentration of nerve endings. Xeroform stripes were used to create gloves on both hands to protect the digits plus web spaces.
The patient healed well and avoided the need for debridement and grafting. They regained full function post hand therapy and had no significant contractures. Xeroform is a non-adherent dressing, which is less painful for regular dressing changes and minimises wound trauma. It’s occlusive nature moulds well, promotes a moist healing environment which is also bacteriostatic.
Xeroform gloves are a cheap and effective dressing for partial thickness burns of the hand. It allows for daily dressing changes with reduced pain and provides an ideal environment for healing. Xeroform dressings are easy for the nurses to perform and readily available throughout most hospitals in Australia.
Plastic Surgery PHO