Americans make roughly 700,000 trips to the emergency room each year with burns. An estimated 45,000 will require hospitalization and treatment by a highly trained medical staff. A serious burn can be a frightening experience with both physical and psychological challenges for the patient and family.
People with serious burns go through three stages of recovery:
The acute stage. During this phase, doctors tend to the immediate effects of the burn and get it ready for healing. They make sure the person who has been burned is in stable condition and their breathing is secured. The individual may need fluids through an IV injection and pain medication. The burned tissue must be cleaned. This may require cutting away damaged tissue.
This phase usually lasts two or three days, but people with milder burns may skip over it.
The healing stage. This phase, which may last weeks or even longer, is when the burn heals. Health care providers and individuals can help the wound heal by keeping clean dressings on the burned area and taking steps to prevent infection and control scarring. Skin grafts – moving healthy skin from other parts of the body to cover the wound – may also be necessary.
The rehabilitation stage. This final stage can take a year or more. During this phase, scars may subside, becoming less red and pronounced. People who have been burned may need physical and occupational therapy to stretch the body parts that have been burned, since scars can contract and make mobility difficult.
People may also need long-term psychological counseling after a serious burn to help them cope with changes in their appearance and any disability that lingers after the injury.
When a burn strikes, the skilled and highly trained medical staff of the world-renowned Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital is available to provide the very best care possible. We offer comprehensive burn treatment, from acute care and reconstruction, to rehabilitation and psychological counseling. You can learn more about our advanced and comprehensive burn care by calling (818) 676-4321 today.