Handbook of Burns

pp 15-25

Long term consequences of burn injuries

  • Shelley WiechmanAffiliated withDepartment of Rehabilitation Medicine, Harborview Burn Center, University of Washington School of Medicine Email author 

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Data from the National Burn Repository of the American Burn Association [2], has revealed that between the years of 1998 – 2009, more patients are surviving large burns despite multiple complications. The mortality rate for all burn injuries is 4%. The average length of stay declined during this time period from 11 days, in the decade prior, to 9 days. This is just over one day of hospitalization per 1% burn. As a result, these patients are being discharged with multiple, long term physical and psychological challenges, such as scarring, contractures, amputations, pain and poor psychological adjustment. In the past, most of the literature on burn injuries was devoted to the acute phase of hospitalization, particularly resuscitation efforts and surgical interventions. In recent years, issues associated with long term adjustment have been recognized as a priority for research and clinical practice.