Transparent face orthoses versus pressure garments for patients with facial burns; measuring interface pressures using Pressure Guardian.

Sarah Shinners1, Alison Schenk2

1 Alfred Health, Orthotics and Prosthetics Department, 55 Commercial Rd, Melbourne, 3004,
2 OAPL, Lot 5, 85 Beach Rd, Pialba, QLD, 4655,

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the difference in interface pressure between Custom Transparent Face Orthoses (TFO) and fabric Pressure Garments for patients with facial burns.

From January 2013 to March 2015 The Victorian Adult Burns Service at The Alfred Hospital treated 211 acute admissions with facial burns. Of these patients, only 20 required debridement/grafting and ongoing intervention for scar management. As part of this service, The Alfred Orthotics department manufactures and fits custom TFO’s for the prevention and ongoing management of facial hypertrophic scarring.

TFO’s have been fitted to patients with the assumption that the clinician is applying greater, more localised pressure to areas of scarring when compared to fabric pressure garments. This is especially true for areas where a fabric garment would normally ‘bridge’ such as the peri-orbital area or the nasolabial folds. Until this point however, there was not an appropriate tool available to measure whether this hypothesis was true.

The Pressure Guardian system allows us to place pressure sensors between the TFO or pressure garment and the skin. Pressure can then be measured over specific areas of scarring to accurately determine if adequate pressure is being applied to reduce scar growth.

To test our hypothesis we used the Pressure Guardian system on patients with hypertrophic scarring. This presentation outlines the results of our case study and discusses implications for future research in the area of facial burns.

Key Words

Transparent Face Orthoses, Pressure, Garment, Burns, Pressure Guardian, Hypertrophic Scarring

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