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Prehospital care of burn injuries in Africa: A review, 1990-2018.

Authors
  • Outwater, Anne H1
  • Van Braekel, Tanya2
  • 1 Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences, School of Nursing, PO Box 105211, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Tanzania)
  • 2 Nkoaranga Lutheran Hospital, PO Box 91, Usa-River, Tanzania. Electronic address: [email protected] , (Tanzania)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Burns : journal of the International Society for Burn Injuries
Publication Date
Dec 01, 2020
Volume
46
Issue
8
Pages
1737–1745
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.burns.2019.08.009
PMID: 31785926
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Administration of appropriate first aid immediately after a burn injury is crucial to averting further harm to the victim, physically and psychologically. The aim of this review is to enable the design of better interventions by describing what is known about prehospital care of burn victims in Africa. This review is based on 17 articles from 5 countries. For the purposes of the review, first responders are defined as those nearest the victim when a burn occurs. First responders include nonclinicians, most typically the mother of a young burn victim. Forty-five different substances, sometimes used in combination, are reported to have been applied to burn injuries: water, 15 food items (especially oils and egg), 14 pharmaceutical products, 9 traditional treatments, 5 minerals (petroleum products being the most common), and charcoal. Appropriate treatment, defined as the application of cool water for 10 min, was achieved about 0.5% of the time, most frequently in Cape Town, South Africa. Most victims do not have their wounds covered while they are transported to a health-care facility. Treatment delays are common. Pain management is hardly addressed. Appropriate prehospital care for burn injury generally is not practiced in Africa. Yet best practices for prehospital care are affordable, available, and easily understood. The greatest risk factor for poor care is first responders' lack of knowledge. Awareness and education campaigns focusing on the lay public, as well as educational institutions for health workers, are urgently needed throughout the continent. Copyright © 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

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