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Burn Wounds can Heal Much Quickly with the Help of Shockwave Therapy

By Alice Merry Subscribe to RSS | January 1st 2012 | Views:

Sever burn wounds are among the most difficult to treat and take considerable time to heal. Unlike common wounds, which can be treated simply with the help of first aid kit and by protecting the wound with a wound dressing, burn wounds are far more difficult to manage. Not all burn wounds are dangerous but large ones with significant damage to skin over a large area of the body can be problematic, even fatal. It is important to properly care for these wounds because they can be quite painful, cause scarring and may end up in amputations. Severe burns can result into nasty infections, shock or organ dysfunction. Burn wounds are normally treated by cleaning; removing dead tissues, applying wound dressing and then implementing other measures such as medicines and fluid input. The sources of most burns include fire related, electrical and chemical.

A new research study shares a novel way to treat burn wounds. A team of German scientists showed that shock wave therapy can significantly increase the pace of the healing process. Dr. Christian Ottomann from the Center for Severe Burns and Plastic Surgery Berlin, together with colleagues conducted a trial involving 50 patients. One group of patients received standard treatment for burn wounds and the other received standard care and one application of Shockwave to the affected areas.

The researchers found that the group that received shockwave, experienced 95 percent epithelialization in a time period of 9 to 10 days, while the other group that received standard care, experienced the same in about 13 days.

"Before I got in intensive contact with the ESWT, I did not believe in this kind of therapy, but after giving the ESWT a chance, I was convinced. Unfortunately in medicine scientific findings establish sometimes in slow motion," said Dr. Ottomann.

This is a promising discovery with great potential for burn victims but there is some criticism as well on this research. It has been pointed out that the size of the study group was not large enough and the nature of burns and injuries was also not similar among different subjects in the two groups. Dr. Basil A. Pruitt, Jr., former president of the American Burn Association and Editor of the Journal of Traumasaid said, "While the concept is intriguing, I'm not convinced." He further added, "This is an area where animal research using standardized burn injuries would be better."

Alice Merry - About Author:
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