A thermal burn is an injury caused by heat or fire. Damage to the skin and sometimes the mouth, throat, and lungs often worsens days after the incident.
Severe thermal injury is one of the most devastating physical and psychological injuries a person can suffer.
Over 2 million burn injuries are brought to medical attention in the United States per year.
Of these, there are 14,000 deaths and approximately 20,000 sustain injuries requiring admission to a specialized burn unit.
About 75,000 patients require hospitalization each year, and 25,000 of those remain hospitalized for more than 2 months.
The most common mechanisms of burn injury are flame and scalding, and the upper extremity, head and neck are the most common body areas involved
Burn injuries are prone to infection and swelling.
Surgical removal of dead tissue and skin grafting may be required to promote healing.
Goals of burn treatment include survival of the patient with rapid wound healing, minimal scarring and abnormal pigmentation, and cost-effectiveness.
The optimal outcome is restoration, as nearly as possible, to the pre-burn quality of health and psychological well being