Comparison of pain scores in minor burns treated with Biobrane versus combination of Mepitel and Acticoat dressing

Ms Florencia Moraga Masson, Elizabeth  Concannon, Lindsay  Damkat Thomas, Ivo  Damkat Thomas, Mr  Nicholas  Solanki, Mr  Marcus  Wagstaff, Mr  John E Greenwood

1Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide , Australia


Pain following burn injury can be challenging to manage. Biobrane is a biosynthetic membrane which functions as an epidermal replacement following partial thickness burn injury until reepithelialisation occurs. Acticoat is a nanocrystalline silver coated high density polyethylene mesh. Mepitel is a low adherent wound contact dressing made of silicone gel bound to a polyamide net that is commonly used alongside acticoat to minimise discomfort. Biobrane and Mepitel/Acticoat are the two most common dressings used for minor burns at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) Burns Unit.

This research aimed to compare the prospectively recorded pain scores of 30 biobrane and 30 mepitel/acticoat patients who were identified to have a total body surface area (TBSA) of 1-5%. Secondary aim compares length of stay in these two patient groups.

Active and resting pain scores for patients treated with one or the other dressing regime did not vary significantly. Further analysis by body site and TBSA failed to demonstrate any significantly different results. Patients treated with biobrane dressing had a similar length of stay compared with mepitel/acticoat despite the former being a more specialised dressing for outpatient burn management.

Biobrane and combined mepetil/acticoat dressings have comparable pain scores and similar length of stay for minor <5% TBSA burn injury. Further prospective randomised research of burn patients with more extensive >5% TBSA (predicted to have higher pain scores) is indicated to further evaluate the effect of specialised burn dressings on pain scores and length of stay.


Florencia Moraga Masson is a 5th year Medical Student at the University of Adelaide. She has an interest in burns and trauma surgery.

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