The Burn Service is part of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Middlemore Hospital and serves as the Regional Burn Unit for the same catchment area as the Department of Plastic Surgery (north of the Bombay Hills).
Incorporated on-site is the National Burn Centre (NBC) which cares for most severely burn-injured patients from around the country. Access to this National Service is via the Regional Burn Units located at Middlemore Hospital, Waikato Hospital, Hutt Valley Hospital and Christchurch Hospital. Click here for more information on the National Burn Service.
What is a Burn?
Burns are injuries to tissue that can be caused by heat (e.g. fire, steam or contact with hot objects), electricity, radiation or chemicals.
Small burns typically require pain relief and the appropriate dressing to allow spontaneous healing. Larger burns may require admission into hospital for resuscitation and possibly surgery. Burn injuries can be devastating and even life-threatening.
The severity of a burn is determined by a combination of: size (measured as a percentage of total body surface area) and depth (previously expressed as first, second, third or fourth degree – now expressed as epidermal, superficial dermal, mid-dermal, deep-dermal or full-thickness).
Treatment of burns, even minor ones, involves a whole team of specialists dedicated to restoring form and function. Burn wounds are prone to infection and can be very painful.
Modern treatment of burn injuries involves early assessment and dressings, surgery if required and ongoing follow-up with members of the burn team to achieve the goal of rehabilitation and reintegration.
Immediate First Aid Treatment begins with appropriate first aid:
- Stop the burning process
- Remove any easily-removable affected clothing
- Cool the burn with cold running water for 20 minutes, then keep the area warm and dry. Ice should not be used on the burn wound
- Seek medical advice for wounds that blister or if there are any concerns.