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.


ANZBA is a not for profit organisation and the peak body for health professionals responsible for the care of the burn injured in Australia and New Zealand. ANZBA encourages higher standards of care through education, performance monitoring and research.

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