Telemedicine and Referrals to Specialised Burn Services
Burn injuries can easily be over-estimated in terms of depth and extent of the total body surface area (%TBSA) and a significant minority of patients may travel long distances to the nearest specialised burns service only to find that their burn could have been treated locally. Therefore, it is recommended in the National Standards for Provision and Outcomes in Adult and Paediatric Burn Care that all burn services should have access to a single telemedicine system within their Operational Delivery Network.
The SWUK ODN has decided to use the MDSAS telemedicine systemwhich is capable of supporting referrals to the specialised burn services from hospitals and primary care. This system facilitates referring services to securely transfer clinical information and digital images to a specialist team. It enables the burns clinicians to provide advice to the referrer on initial management of the burn injury and provide guidance on referring a patient to the most appropriate level of specialised burn care. For life-threatening burns, photographs in a remote ED can also help immediately with decision making about immediate management prior to transferring the patient to a specialised burn service.