Paramedic attitudes to burn first aid in the prehospital setting: A qualitative investigation amongst Queensland Paramedics

Miss Maleea Holbert1,2,4, Dr Browyn Griffin1,3, Professor Roy Kimble1,2,4

1Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, Child Health Research Centre, South Brisbane, Australia, 2Faculty of Medicine, The University of Queensland , Brisbane, Australia, 3Menzies Health Institute Queensland, Griffith University , Brisbane, Australia, 4Queensland Children’s Hospital, South Brisbane, Australia


The aim of this research was to explore and describe attitudes regarding the acute management of paediatric burn injuries in the prehospital setting.

A link to a 25-item survey designed to assess experience, knowledge, and attitudes regarding the provision of optimal burn first aid in the prehospital setting was emailed to paramedics within Queensland (N = 4500). Barriers and facilitators to the provision of optimal first aid in the prehospital environment were assessed via two open-ended questions with free-text response boxes. An inductive approach to qualitative content analysis was used to analyse free-text data.

In total, there were 326 respondents (7.2% response rate). Responses (n = 231) regarding barriers to first aid were classified into 12 categories, within five overarching dimensions. The most common of these was identified as pain (69%). Similarly, free text responses (n =276) regarding facilitators of burn first aid formed eight dimensions with 21 subcategories, most commonly fast and effective pain relief (64%).

Factors influencing burn first aid provision in the prehospital setting were wide-ranging and varied, with pain identified as the most prominent.


Maleea Holbert is a PhD Candidate at the Centre for Children’s Burns and Trauma Research, at The University of Queensland. Her current research focuses on reducing acute pain in children that have sustained thermal burn injuries, and improving rates of burn first aid in the prehospital environment.

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