Cool Water for 20 Minutes After Pediatric Burn Improves Outcomes

Adequate cool water reduces the odds of needing a skin graft and hospital admission

FRIDAY, Feb. 14, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- Cooling children's burns with running water improves clinical outcomes, according to a study published in the January issue of the Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Bronwyn R. Griffin, Ph.D., from Queensland University of Technology in South Brisbane, Australia, and colleagues evaluated associations between first aid and skin-grafting requirements among 2,495 children with burns.

The researchers found that 90.6 percent of children received first aid involving running water, but only 71.3 percent received it for the adequate duration (20 minutes). Overall, 9.5 percent of children required grafting. The odds of grafting were lower in the adequate first aid group (odds ratio [OR], 0.6; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 0.4 to 0.8). There were additional associations between the provision of adequate running water and reductions in full-thickness depth (OR, 0.4; 95 percent CI, 0.2 to 0.6), hospital admission (OR, 0.7; 95 percent CI, 0.3 to 0.9), and operating room interventions (OR, 0.7; 95 percent CI, 0.5 to 0.9). However, there was no association between adequate running water and hospital length of stay (hazard ratio, 0.9; 95 percent CI, 0.7 to 1.2; P = 0.48).

"Adequate first aid must be prioritized by out-of-hospital and emergency medical services in the preliminary management of pediatric burns," the authors write.

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