Severe burns center - Further information
When is treatment necessary in a center for severe burn wounds?
Severe burn wounds are generally life-threatening. This makes uninterrupted care and support for patients particularly important. As well as that, it is not unusual for the outcome to be long-term damage, such as widespread scarring or body parts capable of only limited movement. In an ideal situation, rapid and correct treatment ensures that the healing process succeeds as well as possible, sometimes even completely.
The severity of a burn is determined by reference to the affected body surface and the severity of the damage. In adults, medical practitioners diagnose a burn as being severe if 15% or more of the skin is burnt. For example, that would be both arms, a leg or the whole of the back. If, in addition to the external wounds, there is also internal damage - for example due to breathing in very hot air - then only quite small skin burns are all it takes for specialists to regard the burn as severe.
Burns affecting children are particularly tricky because in children the ratio between the surface area of the body and body mass is greater. Here, burns covering only a tenth of the skin area are enough for medical practitioners to class the burns as severe and recommend referral to a severe burn wound center. If there are also internal burns, treatment by specialists is advisable in most cases.
Qualified treatment for all types of burns
Severe burn wound centers treat not just burn wounds caused by heat or fire. It is true that this is the commonest cause of severe burns, but they can also occur, for example, through contact between the skin and certain chemicals or electrical current. Although cold burns produce similar damage in tissue, they are not counted as burns but as instances of frostbite.
The severity of burns is determined by reference to the degree of burning. In first degree burns, the skin is only slightly reddened, swollen and painful. These generally heal completely and need no particular treatment in a specialist center. In second degree burns, burn blisters form and there is severe pain. If the size of the injuries warrants it, referral to a severe burn wound center is certainly advisable.
In third and fourth degree burns, the patient no longer feels any actual pain, because the nerve endings are also damaged. At this point, treatment in a severe burn wound center is indispensable because in some circumstances pathogens can penetrate the severely damaged skin and lead to complications. A sterile environment and the right equipment in the treating department are also indispensable if the patient is to recover and have only minor aftereffects.
What are the special features of a severe burn wound center?
Since severe burn wound centers are designed specifically in the interests of their patients, they provide them with ideal conditions for healing. For example, the ambient temperature is raised because this has a positive effect on the healing process. The leading doctors in the intensive care department have a special qualification in plastic intensive medicine, which guarantees the treatment quality. Also, severe burn wound centers have their own operation wing where, for example, severely damaged tissue can be removed or skin transplantations can be carried out.
Even after the actual acute treatment, burn victims can continue to use the services of a severe burn wound center. Techniques such as micro-needling or dermabrasion (removal of raised scars by means of abrasion) can be applied, even years after the actual burn wound in order to minimize consequential damage and especially to alleviate the mental anguish of those affected. Other techniques often involve conservative treatment such as scar massage or counseling on camouflage or permanent make up. So it can be seen that severe burn wound centers cover the whole spectrum of treatment needs, from acute care to rehabilitation and aftercare.
Consequently, the staff in a severe burn wound center cover a very wide range of disciplines. The doctors performing the operations are often surgeons and specialists in plastic and aesthetic surgery. Also, dermatologists, internists, physiotherapists and psychotherapists are frequently on the staff.
The main point is that for moderate to severe burn wounds of all types, treatment in a severe burn wound center is the first choice. Here, patients not only receive skilled and qualified treatment but also all-round counseling on the long-term prospects and rehabilitation. The consequences of severe burn wounds are kept to a minimum and patients regain a maximum of quality of life.