Facing the global challenge of burns

Dressing changes can be a traumatic and extremely painful experience for burn patients

Burns are preventable. Despite this, they are a global public health issue that occur mainly in the home and work environments. In 2004, nearly 11 million people were burned severely enough to require medical attention.

In developed countries, the survival rate of serious burn victims has vastly improved.  In developing countries where the majority of burns occur (the Southeast Asia region accounts for almost half of the statistics) the child death rate is approximately seven times higher. This is primarily due to advances in both dressing technology and the overall quality of patient care healing.

Mölnlycke Health Care is dedicated to providing solutions for both burn care professionals and their patients. If you are treating paediatric, partial thickness or facial burns, or if you require a solution for donor sites, staple-free skin graft fixation, expansion of skin grafts or complex post burn care, we have a product for you.

Making use of every advantage you have when treating burns makes sense. That is why using dressings with Safetac®, which are proven to hurt less during dressing changes1, is a safe choice.

Cost effectiveness with Mepilex Ag

An open, parallel, randomised, comparative, multi-centre investigation evaluating the cost effectiveness, efficacy, safety and tolerance of Mepilex® Ag versus Silvadene® in the...

Fixation with Mepitel One

An open, prospective randomised pilot investigation evaluating pain with the use of a soft silicone wound contact layer, Mepitel® One, vs. staples and Bridal Veil used on split thickness...

Mepitel in paediatric burns

Prospective, randomised study of the efficacy of Mepitel® on children with partial-thickness scalds1. AIM: This paper presents the results of a randomised controlled clinical...



About burns

Damage to the skin adversely affects these functions and places the individual at risk. Thermal injuries commonly referred to as “burns”, catastrophically compromise the integrity and protective function of the skin. Extensive burns can therefore represent one of the most life-threatening and life-altering events an individual is ever likely to face and place enormous demands on health care services. The majority of burns are thought to be small, though as many of these injuries are never reported to medical practitioners there is little data to support this belief (Hermans, 2005). However, even in limited burns injuries the compromised status of the skins integrity can provide a portal for bacterial ingress, pain remains a key feature and disfiguring scarring can result (Rockwell et al, 1989).

The severity of the actual burn injury is dependent on two factors: the size of the injury and the depth of tissue damaged by the heat source. Other events and health factors also need to be taken into account when estimating the severity of the injury on the individual's constitution, such as inhalation injury (from smoke and hot gases inhaled at the time of trauma), associated trauma injuries, such as limb fractures sustained trying to flee from the event and underlying medical conditions.

Types of burns

Burns can be caused in a number of different ways:

  • Direct contact with a hot object (contact)
  • Contact with a flame or superheated gas (flame)
  • Contact with a hot liquid (scald)
  • From the passage of a high voltage electrical current through tissues
  • Through exposure to chemicals
  • From exposure to a source of radiation


  1. White R. A multinational survey of the assessment of pain when removing dressings.  Wounds UK, 2008.
  2. Tengvall O et al. Memories after burn injury – The patient’s experience. Journal of burn care & research Volume 31, Number 2.
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