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Burns. 2011 Mar;37(2):281-7. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2010.08.011. Epub 2010 Nov 11.

Effect of training in the Emergency Management of Severe Burns on the knowledge and performance of emergency care workers as measured by an online simulated burn incident.

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  • 1Department of Surgery-Burn Center, Red Cross Hospital, 1940 EB Beverwijk, The Netherlands.



To determine the value of training for the Emergency Management of Severe Burns (EMSB) for medical and nursing staff working in emergency care as measured by their performance in a simulated burn incident online program.


An Internet-based questionnaire, which included a simulated burn incident, was developed. All of the medical and nursing staff in hospital emergency departments and ambulance services in the Netherlands were invited to complete this questionnaire. The effect of EMSB training on the individual's knowledge of and performance in the emergency management of a burn victim was evaluated because some of the respondents had participated in EMSB training, whereas others had not.


Of the 280 responses received, 198 questionnaires were included in the analysis. The analyzed questionnaires were submitted by nurses (43%), ambulance workers (33%), and physicians (23%). Only 14% of the people in the study had participated in EMSB training, whereas 78% had received other or additional life support training and 22% of respondents had no additional life support training. Medical and nursing staff who had participated in EMSB training performed better in the following subjects: mentioning hypothermia as a focus of attention (70% versus 53%, p=0.085), correct use of hand size (70% versus 36%, p=0.001) and use of the correct hand percentage in the estimation of total body surface area (TBSA, 82% versus 57%, p=0.015), suspicion of no airway obstruction in an outdoor trauma (93% versus 63%, p = 0.002) and referral of functional area burns to a burn center (22% versus 8%, p = 0.04). However, both groups overestimated the TBSA (34% of the total group overestimated ≥ 20%) and did not know the correct formula for fluid resuscitation (87% of the total group).


There is some evidence that medical staff members who have participated in EMSB training have a better knowledge of emergency management and are more effective in the management of a simulated burn case. However, both individuals who had participated in EMSB as well as those who had not participated in EMSB needed additional training in EMSB.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.

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