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Plaster cast burns: the reality
  1. J A Read1,
  2. N Ferguson2,
  3. D M Ricketts3
  1. 1
    Princess Royal Hospital, Fleet, Hampshire, UK
  2. 2
    Royal Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  3. 3
    Princess Royal Hospital, Haywards Heath, West Sussex, UK
  1. Mr J A Read, Princess Royal Hospital, Nursery Cottage, Crondall Road, Crookham Village, Fleet, Hampshire GU51 5SY, UK; jezread{at}


An in vivo experimental study was performed of the temperatures produced by a setting plaster cast using hot and cold water. The results confirmed a statistical difference in the temperatures reached using hot and cold water. Forearm and below knee plasters did not represent a burn risk. Lower limb cylinder casts reached sufficient temperatures to cause burns with hot water but did not remain at these temperatures long enough to pose a clinical risk.

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  • Competing interests: None.