Essential Burn Management

the course | the principle


Burns, unfortunately, are too often neglected or badly treated due to the lack of standard protocols or to lack of motivation. This leads to unnecessary acute suffering, including death and unnecessary long-term disabilities. It is the hope of those who devised and who teach this course that it will enhance both the skills and the motivation required to improve the outcome of burn patients. The principles of trauma management are the same whatever the source of destructive energy. Clinicians who treat patients with burns must be able to work within the context of trauma. 

Supported by the Wild Rose Foundation of Alberta and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty, a plastic surgeon from Winnipeg, brought a Basic Burn Care Project to Jimma, Ethiopia in 2005. The lecture material presented was prepared by Dr. Logsetty and Dr. Tim Sproule, a plastic surgeon from Ontario. This material was developed into the CNIS Essential Brun Management course in 2009.

The Course

Dr. Sarvesh Logsetty demonstrates skin grafting model Jimma, Ethiopia 2009. Photo © R. Lett

The EBM course follows the principles of the CNIS Trauma Team Training course (TTT). That is, the course is addressed to a multidisciplinary team who are the care givers for acute and subacute burns in most low income countries with limited resources. The proactive nature of the team exercises during the final day of the course demands that team members prepare themselves as they should in real life. This provides an efficacious teaching situation.

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The Principle

Drs. Laurean Rwanyuma and Sarvesh Logsetty (centre and right) at burn management course in Dar Es Salaam in March 2012. Photo © R. Lett

Teams exist in hospitals of all levels where burn patients are managed. The team should have 4-5 members. Each team should be headed by either a medical or a clinical officer. Members should include nurses, anaesthetic officers and physiotherapy staff. Additional members could include: nursing aids, x-ray or laboratory technicians. At the end of the workshop all members of the team should have a common baseline knowledge level, know their part in the performance of specific procedures and understand the need for team management of the burn injury patient. At the end of the workshop each team should be able to call on individuals to perform specific skills and manage the burn patient. This applies both to patients who are stabilized and transferred out and to patients who are managed definitively on-site.
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