Burn Injuries Rehabilitation- Physical Medicine And Rehabilitation
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Burn injuries rehabilitation is a crucial part of burn treatment. It starts from the time of admission and lasts several months or even years.
The rehabilitation process aims to relieve pain and prevent complications and accumulation of fluid in the body. Once the person is stable, the rehabilitation can shift to reducing psychological impacts of the burn and improving patient’s ability to do activities independently.
Notably, the goals of burn injuries rehabilitation depend largely on the severity of the injury and patient factors such as age and pre-injury health condition.
The Stages of Burn Injuries Rehabilitation
The early stages primarily focus on reducing pain and regular dressing changes. Adequate pain relief and prevention of infection form the foundation of further care.
When a person with severe burns reaches a hospital, health professionals work to reduce the risks and prevent complications. It can involve proper positioning of the patient to prevent fluid accumulation. This can be done by elevating limbs. In addition to positioning, they may also use splints.
If the patient has undergone surgery to replace burnt tissues (skin grafting), the health professionals may elevate limbs while changing dressings.
Proper positioning is key to preventing or reducing problems with normal movement. After a burn, inelastic fibrous tissues (scar tissues) replace the elastic tissues. This reduces the patient’s ability to move joints.
Psychological problems in burn patients are common. For example, fear, anger, depression, guilt, and nightmares. Health professionals work to reassure the patient and their family members.
Scars after a burn injury can significantly affect a person’s appearance and functional ability. Most notably, a type of scar called hypertrophic scars can reduce mobility. Hypertrophic scars are formed when the body replaces burnt tissues with scar tissues.
Stretching and Exercise
Stretching during the early stages after the wounds have healed prevents problems with mobility. Your doctor can ask you to stretch the affected joints several times a day for months.
This involves measures to reconnect the affected patient with society. Support from family members is key to social rehabilitation.