ePlasty: Vol. 8
Adherence to Referral Criteria for Burns in the Emergency Department
Elizabeth Chippa, Jules Waltonb, David Gormanb, and Naiem S Moiemena

aWest Midlands Regional Burns Unit and bEmergency Department, University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation NHS Trust, Raddlebarn Rd, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Correspondence: elizabeth_chipp@hotmail.com

Objectives: To audit the referral patterns of burns in an emergency department compared with national referral guidelines. Methods: A retrospective case note audit of patients attending an emergency department with a diagnosis of “burn” in a 1-year period. Results: Only one quarter of the patients were managed according to the suggested national referral criteria for burns. Large and full thickness burns were managed appropriately but those at important anatomical sites and in patients at the extremes of age were managed less well. Conclusion: Increased awareness of the national referral guidelines, along with further education of staff within this department, may improve management of burn injuries. It is likely that referral patterns are similar in other emergency departments and may be improved by training staff in the assessment and management of burns. Increased adherence to the guidelines is likely to improve patient outcome at the expense of increased patient numbers and workloads in regional burns units that have implications for funding  .......