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Rehabilitation Post Burn Injury[edit | edit source]
Significant improvements in the medical and surgical management of burns has occurred in the last century. Increased survival rates mean that focus is turning to achieving optimal functional outcomes.
∙ Burn survivors often suffer from
o permanent scarring, reduced range of motion, weakness, and impaired functional capacity
o psychological and social problems, which significantly affect their ability to resume their normal activities post discharge
∙ Rehabilitation requires a prolonged, dedicated and multidisciplinary effort to optimise patient outcomes, as inpatients and outpatients.
(Schneider et al 2012; Disseldorp et al 2007; Esselman, 2007)
The aims of the multidisciplinary rehabilitation of a burn include:
∙ Prevention of additional/deeper injuries
∙ Rapid wound closure
∙ Preservation of active and passive ROM
∙ Prevention of infection
∙ Prevention of loss of functional structures
∙ Early functional rehabilitation (Kamolz et al 2009) The physiotherapist may only have a role in achieving some of these goals. ∙ Above all cause no harm.
Early initiation of rehabilitation is essential to maximise functional outcomes for the patient
∙ The pain and psychological distress of a burn has a massive impact on compliance o An empathetic, encouraging and understanding approach is necessary ∙ The urgency and importance of beginning early rehabilitation should be communicated in a clear but gentle manner (Procter 2010).