How do you manage burn blisters? Small question, big answer

Connolly, S.1, Bolwell, K. 1,2, Elfleet, D. 1,3 Parker, C. 1,4

1 Agency for Clinical Innovation NSW Statewide Burn Injury Service
2 Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, Westmead Campus
3 Royal North Shore Hospital
4 Concord Repatriation General Hospital


It’s well known that there is no consensus worldwide on the management of burn blisters. Many clinicians have their set way of managing them. In NSW the Minor Burn Management booklet outlines the main methods of blister management but for the non-burn clinician it can be confusing. Which one do they choose?


In the UK they have introduced a consensus document for non-burn clinicians. So if they can do it why can’t we? With this in mind we sent a survey to all burn surgeons and specialist nurses asking their management preferences for burn blisters and if they would be open to a similar consensus document to the UK.


Twenty-seven completed surveys were received. Results from these surveys showed again that individual clinicians have their preferences. However, most (81%) were open to creating a consensus document if for no other reason than to alleviate confusion in the rural clinicians. Thus a consensus document has been developed for distributed state-wide.


The management of burn blisters is challenging, and made more so for non-burn clinicians by differing recommendations. A consensus document for non-burn clinicians will hope to dispel some of this difficulty and make the process easier.

Key Words

Blister, burn, management


Siobhan has been working as the Burn Prevention/Education Officer of the NSW Severe Burn Injury Service since November 2005. Before this time she worked as a Burns Nurse in the Burn Unit at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead for almost 10 years.She is Chair of the ANZBA Burn Prevention Committee, has developed the Statewide Burn Injury Service clinical practice guidelines in burn wound management and the minor burn management booklet. She also teaches burn management in NSW, across Australia and internationally.

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