Dr Wade Wallace1, Dr Tim Wang, Dr Bishoy Soliman, Dr Jeon Cha
1Severe Burns Unit. Department of Burns, Maxillofacial, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Royal North Shore Hospital, , St Leonards, Australia
Recovery after burn injuries can take years for a patient, regardless of the size of the burn. Wholistic rehabilitation is an essential part of burns management and requires a multidisciplinary team approach. This review aims to provide an up-to-date summary of available burns support groups categorised by state and accessibility. This highlights areas of need within states and provide service coordinators with information on where to direct future support services.
Our review of current organisations (18 government and 11 non-government) has highlighted that there is no streamlined post-burns psychosocial support framework or guidelines for patients following burns injuries. Currently the process following discharge is to link in with psychological services in their region and online peer support networks, with meetings throughout the year in the form of camps. It is unclear how long burns survivors usually follow up and stay engaged within the burns support groups to achieve the best outcomes.
We also found that despite variation between states, burns support organisations play a critical role in after-burns support. Many organisations exist, the onus however, is on the patient and their carers to access these services. Due to geographical isolation, many in regional areas are unable to access services. Unfortunately, there is insufficient outreach services available to meet this need at the current time. This is a genuinely concerning factor as people from rural locations are more likely to suffer severe burns (Hyland et al., 2015).
Dr Wade Wallace is a resident medical officer at Royal North Shore Hospital with a keen interest in burns management and providing a wholistic approach to patient care. In addition to his work, he is a Volunteer medical officer in Papua New Guinea. Prior to his career in medicine, he had an extensive career as a registered nurse working in a variety of Intensive Care Units and critical care environments. He holds a medical degree from the Wollongong University of New South Wales and a Master’s in Health Practice majoring in infectious disease prevention from Griffith University Queensland.