Treatment of Burns Essay

3308 WordsApr 23, 201314 Pages
Imagine opening your eyes and experiencing searing pain throughout your body, overtaking every thought, with each restricted movement your skin rips away from the muscle and tissue holding it in place. Without warning, an average of 60,000 severe burn victims per year, in the United States alone, blink their eyes and find themselves in this very situation (Wolf 1). From that moment each of these victims lives are forever changed financially, emotionally, and physically. Being the largest organ of the body skin functions as our first line of defense, helps absorb vitamin D from the sun, it serves as the home to our hair follicles, regulates body temperature through sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels, defines our skin tone and distinctive markings. It is a garment the size of a king size bed that “ . . . contributes richly to our sense of ourselves” (Ravage 25). When there is a major violation of the skin every one of those features is compromised. Although Neanderthal man did not know about organs, he did leave behind evidence that dates back more then 3500 years, in cave paintings depicting treatment of burn care. (Herndon 1). By 1500 BC care evolved as noted in the document of the Egyptian Smith papyrus of 1500 BC which advocated a salve of resin and honey. Nine hundred years later, the Chinese used tinctures and extracts from tea leaves, and in 400 BC Hippocrates described using pig fat resin in bulky dressings, which was later altered with warm vinegar soaks mixed with tanning solutions made from oak barks (Herndon 1). In the early nineteenth century Frenchman, Dr. Guillaume Dupuytren, reviewed the care of fifty burn patients treated with occlusive dressings and developed a classification of burn depth that remains today (Herndon 1). Despite tremendous historical evidence of burns, the first burn center was nowhere to be found during the greatest

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