The Understanding of Acute Burns Management in the Emergency Department Setting : The Perspective from Royal Hobart Hospital

Dr Jen Martins1, Dr Thomas  Whitton1, Mr Andrew Castley1

1Royal Hobart Hospital, Hobart, Australia


The management of burns in acute setting to reduce the depth and progression of the burn is essential. Most patients will present to an emergency department post acute burn injury for treatment. Thus,  it is imperative that patient’s receive optimal acute burns care in this setting.

As a result, it is essential that emergency room doctors have a good understanding of acute burn care. A survey was undertaken by 20 emergency room doctors at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

The results of the survey did show areas of weakness in their knowledge in acute burn management. This deficit in knowledge extended over all levels of training, but It was most evident in junior doctors. Such deficits included the uncertainty of the duration of first aid and time period, the necessity of prophylactic tetanus, assessing the severity & extent of the burn and dressing management.

Therefore, this survey identifies the need to improve acute burns management education for emergency room doctors to ensure that patients presenting with acute burns receive 1st line  care.


1) Middelkopp E et al. 2015. Response to Burns in the Elderly: What is pathophysiology & What is physiology? EbioMedicine. 2(10): 1314-1315.


Jennifer Martins is a plastics trainee from Victoria but originally for Western Australia. She is currently working at the Royal Hobart Hospital for the plastics department.


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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