Treatment for burn blisters: debride or leave intact?
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Treatment for burn blisters: debride or leave intact?

Faye Murphy Emergency nurse practitioner and departmental manager, Bognor Regis War Memorial Hospital, Sussex Community NHS Trust
Jeshni Amblum Senior lecturer and practitioner, Faculty of health and social sciences at Kingston University and St George’s, University of London

Faye Murphy and Jeshni Amblum discuss the results of a systematic literature review on the categorisation and management of minor burn injuries

This article presents findings from a systematic literature review of whether blisters arising from minor burns should be de-roofed or left intact. It discusses the risks of infection, healing outcomes, discomfort, choice of dressings and costs associated with each method, and reveals that debriding blisters larger than the patient’s little fingernail while leaving smaller ones intact is generally agreed to be the best option. The article also explains external factors that influence the choice of whether to debride or leave blisters intact, reviews policy at the trust where one of the authors works in the context of the research and makes recommendations for practice.

Emergency Nurse. 22, 2, 24-27. doi: 10.7748/en2014.


Peer review

This article has been subject to double blind peer review

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 10 March 2014

Accepted: 07 April 2014