Mr Jonathan Niszczak1
1Bio Med Sciences, inc., Allentown, United States
Introduction: Recent advancements in medicine have vastly improved the survival chances of burn patients. The focus of the burn recovery has now shifted from survival to early rehabilitation. We have designed 6 head and face splints that, if initiated early, could prevent deformity.
Methods: A Low Temperature Silicone-lined thermoplastic is utilized for the fabrication of the splints. The chin splint cups the chin and reverses lower lip eversion. The mouth splint is designed to stretch both commissures vertically. One nose splint is designed to expand the nostril diameter and the other is designed to depress scar hypertrophy around the nasal bridge-ala-epicanthal region. One of the ear splints is designed to increase the ear canal diameter and the other prevents the ear helix from contracting toward the head.
Results: We have found that utilizing these splints at the first evidence of scar hypertrophy or tightness, results can be very positive. Nostril and ear canal diameters can increase by 5mm in about 10 days. Vertical and horizontal mouth opening can increase between 1cm-1.5cm in approximately 1 month. Lower lip eversion and scar hypertrophy around the ala/nasal bridge/epicanthal region can be inhibited when the chin and nose splint are worn underneath a garment mask.
Discussion: The splinting material is coated with silicone which provides for a comfortable contact to the skin. The combination of silicone and thermoplastics in splinting theoretically enhances the principles of gentle, prolonged sustain stretch and promotes scar hydration/pliability that could lead into elongated tissues and flat scars.
Jon has an advanced Master’s Certification in Hand and Upper Quadrant rehabilitation as well as a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. Jonathan has been working in burn
rehabilitation for over 17 years. He is a Clinical Care Specialist for Bio Med Sciences, Inc. in Allentown, PA. Additionally, he works in the Burn Center at Temple University Hospital and
serves as a Medical Diplomat with Physicians for Peace on burn care missions throughout Central and South America and the Middle East. He is an active member of the American Burn
Association; European Burn Association; International Society for Burn Injures and the Australian New Zealand Burn Association. He has published and presented in domestic and
international peer reviewed journals primarily on burn rehabilitation and scar management of the upper extremities and face.