Are hydrogel dressings effective to reduce pain in acute paediatric burn injuries?


  • Heather Mason
  • Univadis Medical News
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A comparison of two acute burn dressings on reducing acute pain scores in paediatric burn patients found no clear benefits of hydrogel dressings, according to an article published in BMJ Open.

The analysis included 72 children aged under 16 years presenting to the emergency department for acute thermal burns. Following randomisation, 37 children were allocated to receive a hydrogel dressing, while the remaining 35 children received a plasticised polyvinylchloride (PVC) film. Observational pain scores from nursing staff assessed five minutes post-application of the randomised dressing, using the Face Legs Activity Cry and Consolability (FLACC) scale was the primary outcome. Repeated measures of pain, stress and re-epithelialisation were also collected at follow-up dressing changes until 95 per cent wound re-epithelialisation occurred.

The results show that no significant between-group differences in nursing or caregiver observational pain scores were identified. Moreover, no significant differences in child self-reported pain, temperature, stress, or re-epithelialisation rates were identified between the two groups.

These findings suggest that hydrogel dressings do not provide superior pain relief in comparison to PVC film when applied as an acute burn dressing, the authors conclude.