Dr Lachlan Farmer1, Dr Puvesh Punj1, Ms Linda Quinn1, Dr Rebecca Cooksey1, Dr Amy Jeeves1, Dr Darren Molony1, Dr Michelle Lodge1, Mr Bernard Carney1
1Women’s And Children’s Hospital Adelaide
Facial burns in children are common. The face presents unique challenges in ensuring an adequate wound-healing environment. Typical dressings are not easily secured due to animation of the underlying structures, potential irritation of sensitive tissues, interference with hearing, vision, eating and regular cleaning of the child’s face. Simple paraffin wax variations are used extensively to maintain a moist, comfortable and clean environment for wound healing. It is low cost and relatively easy to apply.
Some newer products contain biological stimulating agents with proposed additional benefits. Topical administration of Beta glucan (a complex plant derived carbohydrate), potentially enhances wound healing by increasing macrophage infiltration into the wound area, and by stimulating tissue granulation and re-epithelization. This study compared the traditional use of soft white paraffin against a paraffin wax containing oat Beta-glucans in the treatment of partial thickness facial burns in our paediatric cohort.
The process of cleaning and re-applying topical treatments to a facial burn can be uncomfortable, particularly, early in the child’s treatment programme. An ideal product is one that: stays on the face for a long time, is resistant to drying out, and retains its flexibility so that it is comfortable to wear. Aspects of the products use were compared, namely: time to complete healing, incidence of infection, number and frequency of reapplications required, child’s comfort during application, nurses impression of ease of application, cost, and required storage measures. We present the outcomes of this comparative study and discuss the benefits and drawbacks of each product.
Dr Lachlan Farmer is an unaccredited registrar in the Department of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. He endeavors to undertake advanced training in Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns Surgery.