“The End-Game”: Survivorship in severe paediatric burns – The WCH experience from acute care, rehabilitation and beyond

Mrs Kelly Donnellan1

1Women’s And Children’s Health Network, North Adelaide, Australia

The severely burned child (~90%TBSA) has enormous challenges in recovery from survivorship to rehabilitation and beyond discharge.  The consequences of severe burns in childhood can have lasting adverse effects through adolescence and into adulthood.

Preventing burn scar contracture and achieving early mobilisation remain our biggest challenges. We present our experience providing therapy for a severely burned patient, our approach to challenges, and the practical application of Allied Health Practice Guidelines.

We strive to provide a world-class rehabilitation program with the limited staffing resources we have. We describe our recent experience providing a 12 week supervised exercise program in our Burns Therapy Gym for a severely burned child prior to and after discharge from hospital, in preparation for return to mainstream school. There are clinical and quality of life benefits to participation in school and leisure activities and our goal is to help children surviving severe burns achieve participation in such activities throughout their childhood and adolescence.

Kelly Donnellan is a Senior Orthopaedic Physiotherapist at the Women’s and CHildren’s Hospital with several years experience in paediatric burns physiotherapy.

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