According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burns are the fourth most common type of trauma worldwide, following traffic accidents, falls, and interpersonal violence. Burns can be caused by many sources including chemicals, electricity, heat, sunlight or nuclear radiation. Worldwide, over 300 000 people die from fire‐related burn injuries each year, and most of these occur in low‐ to middle‐income countries.

Burn wounds may be contaminated and colonised by any of the more than 200 species of bacteria that constitute the normal flora of the skin, the urogenital and gastrointestinal tracts or by microorganisms from the patient’s environment [Image; Shutterstock].

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