About burns and burn care

World-wide, burns are one of the leading causes of trauma-related death and years lived with disability. A severe burn is life threatening and affects all main integrating systems in the body. The acute care involves intensive care, surgical procedures, wound care, and mobilisation, all of which may cause both pain and stress. Length of stay in hospital varies greatly depending on the medical state of the patient; some patients spend up to a week in intensive care while others spend months up to a year in the intensive care burn unit.As the medical treatment has improved during the last decades, the survival rates have increased markedly. This also means that more severely injured individuals require rehabilitation and that the potential risk of adjustment problems after burns has increased. The process of rehabilitation often continues many years after the burn and includes physical, psychological and social challenges. Even with optimal treatment, scarring is inevitable after deep burns and permanent changes of appearance and physical function can occur. Post burn psychological adjustment problems and psychiatric disorders are relatively common, especially posttraumatic stress disorder and depression.Although burns can happen to anyone, children, elderly and socially disadvantaged are risk groups, and far more men than women are severely burned in industrialized countries such as Sweden. Another risk factor is pre-burn psychiatric disorders which also increases the risk for a poor recovery afterwards.