Assessment and Management of Hot Springs Burns in New Zealand

Dr Ming-Chi  Wang1, Dr Theresa  Magoye1, Ms Deirdre Seoighe1

1Waikato Hospital, Hamilton , New Zealand


Aim: New Zealand is a geothermically active country with numerous easily-accessible hot springs. Yet there is paucity of data and of previous research to guide the assessment and management of burns injury sustained in hot springs. We aimed to review the current literature; and report the presentation of hot spring burns in a major regional burns referral centre.

Method: A retrospective review of medical records gathered from Waikato Hospital, a regional burns centre in New Zealand was performed to examine the pattern of injuries sustained, rate of use of antimicrobial agents and wound infection rates in hot-spring related burns. A literature search was also performed to look for evidence to support early prescription of antibiotics and correlate the rate of infection in hot spring burns.

Results: Medline and Google Scholar search combining the following terms: “burns” and “hot springs” did not return any result pertaining to the current practice in managing hot-spring burns. On review of our database we found inconsistent use of antibiotics and less than thorough microbial investigations performed in the early stages of burns management.

Conclusions: We present a retrospective study of the assessment and management of hot springs burns in a major regional burns centre in New Zealand. To our knowledge, no previous study has singled out this mechanism of burns to examine its characteristics, and there is no evidence to support the empirical use of antibiotics in its initial management.


Surgical registrar at Waikato Hospital

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