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Burns sustained from body heating devices: an integrative review


Kornhaber, R and Visentin, D and West, S and Haik, J and Cleary, M, Burns sustained from body heating devices: an integrative review, Wounds, 32, (5) pp. 123-133. ISSN 1044-7946 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright 2020 HMP Communication

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Background: Heating devices can provide relief from muscular pain and the cold, however they may result in burn injuries when used inappropriately.

Objective: This review article synthesizes the incidence, risk factors, outcomes, treatment, and prevention of burns sustained from body heating devices in order to better understand how these burns are sustained.

Methods: PubMed, CINHAL, EMBASE, and Scopus databases were systematically searched from inception up until January 13, 2020, for studies/case reports on burns sustained from body heating devices that were published in the English language.

Results: Medical records from 10 retrospective studies yielded 1343 patients with burns, of whom the majority were women (63.4%) with a mean age of 27.7 years (range, 0–92 years). Devices included hot water bottles, hot wheat bags, and heating pads. Sites of injury were predominantly in the lower limbs and feet, with other sites reported (ie, abdomen, pelvis, buttocks, perineum, and upper limbs). Burns sustained typically had low total burn surface area (TBSA) but often involved partial-thickness to full-thickness burn injury. The proportion of patients requiring surgery ranged from 15% to 87.4% for hot water bottle injuries and 91% for wheat bag injuries. Women were predominately represented in the case series/reports. Burns had low TBSA with hot water bottles, and heating pads were the most common mechanism of injury, predominately women following breast reconstructive surgeries.

Conclusions: Burns from body heating devices are often preventable. Community education and improved manufacture labelling on the appropriate use and potential risks should be required. The patient’s cognitive ability and physiology must be considered to minimize incidence and severity of injury.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:burns, heating devices, hot water bottle, heat pack, integrative review, scald, wheat bag
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Public health
Research Field:Health promotion
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Preventive medicine
UTAS Author:Kornhaber, R (Dr Rachel Kornhaber)
UTAS Author:Visentin, D (Dr Denis Visentin)
UTAS Author:West, S (Dr Sancia West)
UTAS Author:Haik, J (Professor Josef Haik)
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:138715
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2020-04-24
Last Modified:2021-01-27

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