Aerobic capacity and strength rehabilitation in a burn survivor

Sheena Fleet

Senior Physiotherapist, Waikato District Health Board, Waikato Hospital, Pembroke Street, Hamilton, 3204, NZ.

Burn injury results in major pathophysiological changes in the body, which have a detrimental effect on the physical functioning and aerobic capacity of the survivor (Disseldorp et al. 2011). Physiotherapy intervention addresses many complex aspects of recovery and appropriate exercise prescription is a key intervention in this instance (Al-Mousawi et al. 2010). The purpose of this poster is to highlight how pathophysiological changes affect aerobic capacity and the role of exercise to improve strength and aerobic outcomes of a burns survivor.

The case follows a 28 year old male who sustained an 18% total body surface area burn from a bonfire explosion. Burned areas involved the face, neck, chest, arms and thighs with a significant inhalation injury.

Key Words

Physiotherapy, cardiovascular fitness, strength, lean muscle mass, rehabilitation, aerobic capacity



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I am a Physiotherapist working at Waikato Hospital in Hamilton, NZ.  I trained in Glasgow, Scotland and moved to New Zealand in 2007.  I have been specialising in burn rehabilitation on our specialist surgery wards for the last 8 years and very much enjoy working in this area. I also work in a busy musculoskeletal outpatients physiotherapy service and enjoy that I am able to assist my patients throughout their long journey from burn injury to full rehabilitation.

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