February 7-13 is National Burn Awareness Week, an event organized each year by the American Burn Association. Along with educating the public on the prevention methods that can save people from burn-related injury and death, focus is also put on the causes of these accidents and the latest forms of care for victims of burn injuries.
Tragically, burn injuries continue to be one of the leading causes of accidental death and injury in the United States. In 2018 alone, there were 3,655 deaths from fire and smoke inhalation, and another 40,000 people were treated in hospitals for burn-related injuries, most of which occur in the home.1
Children, Elderly Most at Risk
Understanding who is most at risk is an important part of injury prevention. Children under the age of 15 make up almost one-third of burn injury patients. Those under five are twice as likely as the overall population to be seen for burn injuries in a hospital emergency department.2 The elderly and the disabled are also at a higher risk for burn injuries. Young adults ages 20 to 29 had 1.4 times the risk, and those in the 30-39 age group had 1.3 times the risk of the general population.3
As clinicians who treat burn injuries know all too well, many survivors will have severe scarring, life-long physical disabilities and adjustment difficulties that can dramatically affect quality of life. The continued advances made by those in the burn care and research fields have and will continue to aid in the necessary steps that give victims of burn injuries the best possible outcome as they seek treatment and heal.
Technology Enables Superior Care
Net Health’s specialized wound care EHR solution, Net Health® Wound Care, helps more than 20,000 clinicians with the most modern way to manage chronic wounds, including those from burns, by streamlining workflow and providing real-time, relevant information. Clinicians in outpatient wound and burn treatment facilities can seamlessly connect to any hospital EHR and drive data to and from patient records, saving valuable time, reducing errors, and allowing for unparalleled patient care.
As burn injuries remain incredibly challenging to treat, imaging is critical for these patients. Net Health’s Tissue Analytics’ digital imaging system generates clear 2D and 3D images, allowing practitioners to have clear visual summaries of the surface of the skin, which provides the information necessary to ensure burns are treated effectively over time. Digital imaging also helps diagnose and treat burn patients virtually, ensuring patients receive the best diagnosis and treatment, regardless of their location.
Advances in Research
One of the more important steps our industry can take to assist burn patients is to ensure that we are developing the products and services that best meet their unique needs. Driving further treatment innovation is essential in the forward progress of burn treatment. However, manufacturers face the challenge of identifying providers and patients to participate in clinical trials for new interventions, which keeps new wound and burn care products from those who need them most.
Major strides have been made in the ability to provide the best and latest care to those who suffer from chronic wounds of all kinds. Technological advances and product innovations have dramatically improved burn treatment, aided patient rehabilitation, shortened hospital stays and increased burn survival rates. During National Burn Awareness Week, this is something we can all celebrate.