When a burn occurs, seconds count! Burn injuries should be cooled immediately, otherwise the heat will continue to destroy the surrounding and underlying tissue, and may progress a partial thickness (second degree) burn into a full thickness (third degree) burn injury. This, in turn, will present serious consequences for the patient and considerable extra cost for the receiving hospital/burn unit.
These are the 4 critical steps you should take to treat a burn
- Immediately stop the burning process—seconds count!
- Cool the burn—don’t overcool the victim.
- Provide pain relief.
- Cover and protect the burn area against contamination.
Cooling burns the right way – with Water-Jel
Water-Jel Burn Dressings are a gelatinized water mix designed to perform the four critical steps for burn management in one application. Because of their gelatinous nature, they seal the burn from further contamination, they cool the burn site and relieve pain by heat transfer into themselves, and the fluids on the burn site cannot soak into the dressing nor can they evaporate through them. And finally, as the burn site cools down, the dressing warms up, leaving the site covered by a warm dressing, helping to prevent hypothermia.
Water-Jel Burn Dressings will absorb temperatures in excess of 2000 degrees F—extremely important when you consider that human bone carbonizes at 1400 degrees F and other dressings could melt into the site. With Water-Jel, there is plenty of extra gel to use on any hyperaemic or stasis sites surrounding the main burn and the gel can be left on for more than four hours.
- Provides controlled cooling by convection, not evaporation
- Acts as a heat exchanger
- Absorbs heat throughout the gel contact area
- Conforms to the burn surface, providing total cooling contact
- Does not affect core body temperature or contribute to hypothermia
Benefits of Water-Jel
- Stops the burning process
- Portable—on the scene—when seconds count!
- Cools the burn, dissipates heat
- Provides pain relief
- Easy to use
- Evaporates slowly
- Use on any burn
- Non-adherent, easy to remove
- Covers and protects against contamination
- Helps prevent infection
- Won’t irritate the eyes, nose or mouth
All burns should be treated with concern. It is important to keep in mind the golden rule of burn management: If someone has a burn on his or her body exceeding the size of the palm of his or her own hand, where blisters are present, burns to genitalia, face or to any flexion point, this person should seek medical attention. All electrical burns require medical attention.
National Burns Unit,St James Hospital, Dublin 8 Visiting 2.30- 3.30pm,7.00- 8.00pm
The National Burns Unit is a purpose built unit, which opened in December 1991. It is located beside the emergency department, which facilitates quick and efficient transfer of patients. The unit has 14 beds, which consist of 8 single rooms and a 6-bed ward and has an operating theatre designated for burn surgery. The unit provides a national service for patients over 14 years of age. Each year we admit approximately 200 patients who have sustained a burn injury. Burn injury admissions vary in severity from minor to life-threatening. The National Burns Unit accepts both classifications, which may be referred form A/E departments, GP practice and health care centres.
The aim of the unit is to provide optimal care of the burn-injured patient utilising the skills of a multidisciplinary team from the acute to the rehabilitative phase of burn injury. The multidisciplinary team in conjunction with the patient and the family aim to preserve life and with equal importance promote quality of life by maximising long-term physical, vocational and psychosocial functioning.
Phone: (01) 416 2326 or (01) 416 2350
Clinical Nurse Managers Helen Nolan, Clinical Nurse manager
From the James’s Street entrance proceed to Junction 2, turn left and enter the main hospital building.
From the main entrance take the first right down red Route 1. Take the third left (located at the end of the corridor) and then the second right. Continue straight down this corridor passing through two sets of double doors. On the left you will see the entrance door clearly marked the Burns Unit.