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EDITORIAL
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

Survivors of pediatric burns - Reclaiming the joys of childhood


Editor-in-Chief, Indian Journal of Burns, India

Date of Web Publication22-Nov-2013

Correspondence Address:
Vinita Puri
Head, Department of Plastic Surgery, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai - 400012, Maharashtra
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0971-653X.121857

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How to cite this article:
Puri V. Survivors of pediatric burns - Reclaiming the joys of childhood. Indian J Burns 2013;21:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Puri V. Survivors of pediatric burns - Reclaiming the joys of childhood. Indian J Burns [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Aug 24];21:1-2. Available from: http://www.ijburns.com/text.asp?2013/21/1/1/121857

On a recent trip to the Zanskar valley we were guests at the Indian army's Drass Field Hospital (Zanskar is one of the remotest corners of our country with the Drass Field Hospital having the distinction of being the coldest field hospital in the world with a minimum temperature which may plummet to –50°C). Drass is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest inhabited place in the world. The army in Jammu and Kashmir runs Operation Sadbhavana wherein they take up a large number of welfare and development projects with a view to improving the quality of life of the populace residing in rural areas. Health is also under its ambit and they treat and manage the ailments of the locals along with those of the defense personnel. There at 14,000 feet above sea level, I was referred a civilian child with facial and hand burns scarring. This led me to give fresh thought about the issue of pediatric burns in our country.

As per published epidemiological data from our country 11-25% of patients who sustain burns are from the pediatric age group. [1],[2],[3],[4],[5] Pediatric burns have their own set of problems, distinct from those of adults. The burns are deeper at lower temperatures and mortality is higher. Among the survivors, besides scarring and contractures which lead to growth disturbances and physical scars, the scars on the patient's psyche cannot be underestimated. In pediatric burns we therefore need to look at three separate aspects: Prevention, management to decrease morbidity and mortality, and the management of survivors (both physical and psychological rehabilitation).

Dr Chamania's article of 2011 has elegantly shown how community education coupled with a barrier in the home has helped bring about a visible decrease in the pediatric burns of their area. [6] This combination of active and passive prevention strategy has had a huge impact not just on the incidence of burns, but also on the number of dangerous situations. The need of the hour is many more such projects all over the country to have a significant impact on decreasing the incidence of burns.

The golden hours in burn management as in any casualty remains the early hours, but management in the first 24 h in burns will decide the further course of the patient. The section on "Guru Speak" in this issue introduces advanced life support for pediatric burns and the training of burn teams in the management of pediatric burns in the first 24 h. Professor Mathangi Ramakrishnan's enormous experience in burns and her "gyan" shines forth in this article on training.

One cannot do justice to any discussion on pediatric burn survivors without mentioning burn survivor camps. Summer camps for children first started in the late 1800s in the US and they were well-established by the early 1900s. The results of such a camp on disabled children were so satisfying and the impact so huge that there was no looking back. The therapeutic value of recreational camps for children with disabilities is now well-established. In the 1990s, the number of burn survivor camps around the world started growing and the tribe continues to grow even now. Many decades after the first camp of the world, the first such camp in India is being held in December 2013. Twenty-five kids from in and around Mumbai will get together in an atmosphere of fun and games. They will be chaperoned by a dedicated bunch of young occupational therapists, plastic surgeons, nurses, and support staff; all from KEM Hospital Mumbai. The volunteers are as excited as the survivors to be going to this camp and creating a new legacy. The success of this camp should help the establishment of many more such camps in all corners of the country.

This issue of our journal includes articles on respiratory burns, radiation dermatitis, classification, management, and esthetics of the post-burn neck contracture among other topics. In Dr Madhuri Gore's article "Nothing glamorous about it" we take a walk down memory lane with her, tracing her path down a road less travelled. The movie review makes interesting reading and I urge all burn care professionals to get in touch with the director of the movie and facilitate screenings in colleges and housing societies so that the common man is made more aware of the devastating repercussions of burn injury.

Please do write in to me with your feedback on the articles and do send in your best work to us.

 
  References Top

1.Ahuja RB, Bhattacharya S. An analysis of 11,196 burn admissions and evaluation of conservative management techniques. Burns 2002;28:555-61.  Back to cited text no. 1
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2.Shanmugakrishna RR, Narayanan V, Thirumalaikolundusubramanian P. Epidemiology of Burns in a teaching hospital in South India. Indian J Plast Surg 2008;41:34-7.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Ganesamoni SR, Kate V, Sadasivan J. Epidemiology of hospitalized burn patients in a tertiary care hospital in South India. Burns 2010;36:422-9.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Mukerji G, Chamania S, Patidar GP, Gupta S. Epidemiology of paediatric burns in Indore, India. Burns 2001;27:33-8.  Back to cited text no. 4
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5.Gupta M, Gupta OK, Yaduvanshi RK, Upadhyaya J. Burn epidemiology: The pink city scene. Burns 1993;19:47-51.  Back to cited text no. 5
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6.Jetten P, Chamania S, van Tulder M. Evaluation of a community-based prevention program for domestic burns of young children in India. Burns 2011;37:139-44.  Back to cited text no. 6
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