Depending on wound severity – this may need hospitalisation, specialist wound care or out-patient dressings. Please always refer to a medical doctor for advice.
Once a patient is referred to us as an out-patient we assist with dressing changes (in conjunction with relevant medical specialist/wound care nurse).
Burn wounds may heal and contract in a shortened position, so it is thus vital that range of movement and joint alignment is maintained. In an acute setting (hospital ward or ICU) custom-made thermoplastic splints maintain maximum joint alignment and tissue length, whilst preserving optimum function. Various splint designs may be used depending on burn location, severity and whether or not surgery has been performed.
Splints are worn in the acute stage of healing and weaned once the burn has healed and wear time may be reduced to night time wear only. This is a gradual process and performed in conjunction with all team members (Doctor, therapist and patient). Splinting may continue for several months post burn to ensure no contractures develop and that maximum functional joint position and tissue length is maintained.
An integral part of treating any burn is maintenance of function and thus movement in the affected part. The therapists will assist with passive range of movement (PROM) as well as facilitate active range of movement (AROM) to allow the patient to use their affected body part in a functional manner. A therapist may facilitate AROM with participation in functional activities such as feeding and/or dressing etc. Specific mobilisation is required for a long period after the burn has healed. Without graded and specialised mobilisation, contractures of tissue and joint may occur.
Pressure Garments and Silicone Proucts
Scars can be improved beyond maintenance of tissue length. This is performed by using custom fabricated pressure garments and silicone products. These, in conjunction with scar massage, mobilisation and splinting will maximally improve the scar adhesions, pliability, height and the functional and aesthetic outcome of the rehabilitation of the burned area.
There are various brands and types of silicone products – the benefit and applicability of each will be explained to you by the therapist.