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The Rehabilitation Stage: begins as soon as the burn survivor is medically stable and cleared for therapy.
The rehabilitation process will vary from one patient to the next. However, all rehabilitation begins during the acute phase. Many patients will find that this phase is more difficult than the acute phase. But at the end of rehabilitation, the burn victim should feel prepared and confident to return to everyday life. Below are some rehabilitation techniques your loved one will probably experience:
Regaining motion- It is common for burn victims to experience contractures which cause a decreased range of motions. To deal with this, patients will undergo physical therapy that monitors progress.
Scar Management- This is an important aspect of the rehabilitation process for both physical and psychological purposes. Excessive scarring can lead to contractures, which is scar shrinkage, decrease the range of motion and have negative effects on the patient’s emotional state. To reduce scarring, patients wear elastic garments which apply pressure to the area.
Immobilization- Patients usually undergo this rehabilitation technique after a reconstructive surgery to assure that the new skin grows and heals properly. A body part is immobilized with a splint in a position that does not interfere with regaining motion. This technique is administered for the least amount of time as possible because movement is critical during this time period.
Although your loved one may not need to stay in the hospital for long, he or she will likely require follow- up treatments. If this is the case, community based rehabilitation may be the perfect fit. This type of program, which covers both the physical and mental aspects of rehabilitation, is offered to outpatients. It consists of regular follow up visits but is not as demanding or intense as treatment for those who have been more severely burned. As with any injury, the process will vary for each patient according to the severity of the burn.
Patients will have to wear a garment for a minimum of 6 months. After this period, the time length will vary according to patient needs. For best results, the victim should wear the garment 7 days a week for 23-34 hours a day.
Major burn victims shouldn’t spend much time in the sun for the first two years after the injury. The new skin is sensitive and will not be able to fight UV rays. Burn victims are likely to sunburn easily and are prone to permanent discoloration. If going out in the sun is necessary, be sure your loved is protected with clothing and sun block.