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Burns. 2009 Sep;35(6):768-75. doi: 10.1016/j.burns.2008.10.011. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

A review of first aid treatments for burn injuries.

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Royal Children's Hospital Burns Research Group, University of Queensland, Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, Royal Children's Hospital, Herston Rd, Herston, Queensland 4029, Australia.


Throughout history there have been many different and sometimes bizarre treatments prescribed for burns. Unfortunately many of these treatments still persist today, although they often do not have sufficient evidence to support their use. This paper reviews common first aid and pre-hospital treatments for burns (water--cold or warm, ice, oils, powders and natural plant therapies), possible mechanisms whereby they might work and the literature which supports their use. From the published work to date, the current recommendations for the first aid treatment of burn injuries should be to use cold running tap water (between 2 and 15 degrees C) on the burn, not ice or alternative plant therapies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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