Purpose: To evaluate the safety and efficacy of Acticoat™ use in primary burn injuries and other skin injuries in premature neonates.
Procedures: An audit of eight premature neonates who sustained burn injuries and other cutaneous injuries from various agents were treated with Acticoat™. Serum silver levels were measured in three neonates. Wounds were assessed for infection and blood cultures were taken where sepsis was suspected.
Findings: Neonates ranged from 23 to 28 weeks gestation (weight: 578-1078 g). Causative injury mechanisms included: alcoholic chlorhexidine, alcoholic wipes, electrode jelly, extravasated intravenous fluids, artery illuminator, temperature probe and adhesive tape removal. Total burned body surface area ranged from 1 to 30%. All neonates were treated with Acticoat™ dressing changed every 3-7 days. All wounds re-epithelialised by day 28 and scar management was not required. There were four mortalities secondary to problems associated with extreme prematurity. Serum silver levels ranged from 0 to 1 μmol/L. There were no wound infections or positive blood cultures during the treatment period.
Conclusions: Acticoat™ is a suitable dressing for premature neonates who have sustained burn injury, with the advantage of minimal handling as the dressing need only be changed every 3-7 days.