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Int Wound J. 2016 Aug;13(4):519-25. doi: 10.1111/iwj.12469. Epub 2015 Jul 15.

The efficacy of hydrogel dressings as a first aid measure for burn wound management in the pre-hospital setting: a systematic review of the literature.

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Department of Operations, Ambulance Victoria, Doncaster, Australia.
Department of Ecosystem Science, CSIRO, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia.
Epworth Radiology Oncology, Epworth Healthcare, Richmond, Australia.
School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, The Alfred Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.


The aim of this systematic review was to determine the supporting evidence for the clinical use of hydrogel dressings as a first aid measure for burn wound management in the pre-hospital setting. Two authors searched three databases (Ovid Medline, Ovid Embase and The Cochrane Library) for relevant English language articles published through September 2014. Reference lists, conference proceedings and non-indexed academic journals were manually searched. A separate search was conducted using the Internet search engine Google to source additional studies from burns advisory agencies, first aid bodies, military institutions, manufacturer and paramedic websites. Two authors independently assessed study eligibility and relevance of non-traditional data forms for inclusion. Studies were independently assessed and included if Hydrogel-based burn dressings (HBD) were examined in first aid practices in the pre-hospital setting. A total of 129 studies were considered for inclusion, of which no pre-hospital studies were identified. The review highlights that current use of HBD in the pre-hospital setting appears to be driven by sources of information that do not reflect the paramedic environment. We recommend researchers in the pre-hospital settings undertake clinical trials in this field. More so, the review supports the need for expert consensus to identify key demographic, clinical and injury outcomes for clinicians and researchers undertaking further research into the use of dressings as a first aid measure.


Burns; Dressing; First aid; Hydrogel; Pre-hospital

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