Burn

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a burn is defined as an injury to the skin or other organic tissue primarily caused by heat, but also potentially by radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction, or contact with chemicals. WHO also notes that burns are a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 180,000 deaths annually, with the majority occurring in low and middle-income countries. Almost two-thirds of these deaths take place in the WHO African and South-East Asia Regions. In India alone, over 1 million people suffer moderate to severe burns every year.

Burns can be classified as “partial-thickness” and “full-thickness.” If the damage is limited to the epidermis and the outer part of the dermis (a superficial partial-thickness burn), with most appendage structures remaining intact, recovery will be quick (10–14 days) and the risk of scarring low. However, if the burn extends into the deeper layers of the dermis, with more significant appendage damage, the epithelium will take longer to regenerate (3–6 weeks) and there will be a high risk of hypertrophic scarring. Full-thickness burns involve the destruction of all layers of the skin and usually require surgical intervention to ensure proper wound healing.

Negative Pressure Wound Therapy (NPWT) is an effective adjunct therapy for managing different categories of burns, particularly partial and full-thickness burns. It aids in accelerating healing, managing exudate, and controlling infection risk, thereby supporting overall burn wound care. In particular, NPWT is often used in third-degree burns to prepare the wound bed for skin grafting by promoting granulation tissue and reducing bacterial load. Capture Meditech’s SAC – NPWT has been found to be effective in managing all the types of burns for the past three years. It has generated outstanding results especially when combined with pain management therapy. The figure added illustrates the characteristics of various degrees of burns for better understanding, interpretation and management.

References

Burns (who.int)

Żwierełło W, Piorun K, Skórka-Majewicz M, Maruszewska A, Antoniewski J, Gutowska I. Burns: Classification, Pathophysiology, and Treatment: A Review. Int J Mol Sci. 2023 Feb 13;24(4):3749. doi: 10.3390/ijms24043749. PMID: 36835171; PMCID: PMC9959609.

Oshima, J., Inoue, Y., Sasaki, K. et al. Various Purposes of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Severe Burn Treatment: a Short Case Series Analysis. Indian J Surg (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12262-023-03902-0

Dumville JC, Munson C, Christie J. Negative pressure wound therapy for partial‐thickness burns. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2014, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD006215. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD006215.pub4.

Lin D-Z, Kao Y-C, Chen C, Wang H-J, Chiu W-K. Negative pressure wound therapy for burn patients: A meta-analysis and systematic review. Int Wound J. 2021; 18: 112–123. https://doi.org/10.1111/iwj.13500

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