Treatment of minor burns: Dressings do not need to stick

BMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7460.291-c (Published 29 July 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:291
  1. Alan M Leaman, consultant in emergency medicine (caleaman{at}doctors.org.uk)
  1. Princess Royal Hospital, Telford TF1 6TF

    Editor—Hudspith and Rayatt discussed the treatment of minor burns.1

    Firstly, nobody's burn dressing now needs to become painfully adherent. Mepitel (silicone impregnated gauze) is expensive, but this should not be a reason for confining its use to children.

    Secondly, not all facial burns need to be referred to a burns unit, and this is just as well for those of us whose nearest such unit is 60 km down a congested motorway. Most superficial facial burns heal well with watchful neglect, and I would not promote twice daily cleansing with chlorohexidine solution for fear of this getting into eyes.

    Finally, Hudspith and Rayatt make no mention of tetanus prophylaxis. This should be considered wherever there is tissue damage, and particularly in elderly patients.


    • Competing interests None declared.


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