[Truncated abstract] Oedema, or swelling, after burn injury is a natural consequence of the human inflammatory response. Oedema is, therefore, an integral part of wound healing. However, after burn injury the response is exaggerated, causing both local and systemic oedema. Excessive local oedema causes deterioration in the viability of the marginal cells in the zone of trauma, leading to further increases in macroscopic tissue death by 3 days post-injury. Systemic oedema accumulation occurs in non-injured tissues and in the lungs, where excessive oedema may be lethal. The timeframe in which oedema is present in injured tissues also impacts on the healing process. The longer oedema remains in situ, the greater the impedance to enzymatic and chemical healing processes leading to slowing of wound healing. This, in combination with increased tissue loss, compounds to prolong burn healing time. The risk of hypertrophic scarring in the skin post-burn period increases in proportion to the time to wound closure. Burn scar causes functional and movement limitation, challenges psychological well-being and social reintegration or participation and leads to unacceptable aesthetic outcomes in the months to years after the initial burn injury. The overall aim of the project was to improve the management of acute burn oedema. The initial aim of the project was to review critically the relevant literature. Consequently, the analysis aimed to provide a detailed synthesis of evidence to illustrate the gaps in and knowledge of treatment for acute burn oedema. Finally, the review of literature determined the current understanding of methods to measure of the outcomes post-intervention in the burn patient population. Subsequently, a series of novel studies was designed with two major objectives. To aid the planning of treatments and research, the investigations first examined the contents of acute burn oedema and its temporal change during the acute inflammatory period.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2010|