Burns & Skin Grafts

About 6,000 people are treated in hospitals for burns each year. About five percent of those hospitalized dies as a result of those burns. Diagnosing the severity of the burn will always be determined by the number of layers the burn penetrates through the skin. Treatment is determined by several factors, including the degree and age of the burn, the health and tolerance of the victim, and how the burn occurred.

Often with burns, the focus of treatment is to help increase the natural way the body heals and to reduce swelling and pain. For some patients, this can mean several surgeries and countless visits to burn specialists. The damage from burns deepens and worsens over time, so it is important to seek Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment, or HBOT, soon after the burn injury happens. The damage hits its maximum about three or four days after the burn incident. HBOT can slow the progression of this damage. The best chance for effective treatment is in the six- to 24-hour window after an accident.

For those who have had several skin grafts, HBOT can help limit the required surgery. Many people do not know that even skin graft surgeries require sufficient oxygen to improve the surgery’s success. Skin grafts need a new blood supply to form and keep the skin healthy. Because HBOT increases the amount of oxygen to the wounds, this blood supply forms faster and speeds healing.

Although there are many success stories and research that show the benefits of HBOT for burn victims, there are times when skin grafts fail:

• There has been previous radiation to the wound area
• Diabetes
• Infection

The increased oxygen supply from HBOT treatments pushes healing even when conditions cause skin grafts to fail.

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