Biobrane versus Acticoat: A Retrospective 2-year review of the treatment of mid-dermal burns of the torso in children at The Children’s Hospital Westmead.

Dr Dharshini Selvarajah1, Dr Bapesh Krishna Bollu1, Professor John Harvey1, Dr Susan Jehangir1, Ms Claire Toose1, Professor Andrew Holland1, Ms Madelene Jacques1

1The Children’s Hospital Westmead, Westmead, Australia


Purpose:Scalds involving toddlers commonly involve the torso and are frequently mid-dermal in depth. Initial management of a mid-dermal burn is conservative, progressing to grafting if healing has not been achieved in 10-14 days. Biobrane has been reported as having a more favourable outcome compared to Acticoat. The Burns Unit at the Children’s Hospital at Westmead (CHW) uses both dressings on a regular basis, providing the opportunity to compare the results of the dressings in a cohort of patients with mid-dermal burns of the torso.

Methods:A retrospective review was undertaken of all paediatric mid-dermal torso burns admitted to CHW between 2015 and 2016. Patients requiring grafts for full-thickness burns or with other dressings were excluded. The primary outcomes were: time to complete healing and the need for grafting. Secondary outcomes included: operating theatre time, clinic visits, length of stay in hospital, scar outcomes and cost.

Results:Eight-one of the 124 children reviewed met the study criteria; 64 (79%) were treated with Acticoat and 17 (21%) with Biobrane. In total, 27/64 (42%) children in the Acticoat group and 11/17 (58%) children in the Biobrane group healed without grafting (p= 0.27). There was no difference between the groups in healing time, or scar outcome. Patients treated with Biobrane required longer operating time, a longer hospital stay and more clinic visits.

Conclusion: This study suggests that Biobrane does not significantly improve the outcome of mid-dermal torso burns in children compared to Acticoat, but appears to be more time consuming and expensive.


Dr Dharshini Selvarajah- burns registrar from The Children’s Hospital Westmead NSW


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