A private hospital in Coimbatore in southern India Tuesday inaugurated a burns centre and said it was a forerunner of sorts.
For while generally major hospitals tend to set up cardiac or trauma care units, a care exclusively dedicated to burn injuries is relatively rare.
Director of the Ganga Hospital and Medical Centre and Head of the Department of Plastic Surgery and Microsurgery Dr S Raja Sabapathy said, ``The aim is to cut down on medicines, hospital time, by treating patients before they go into complications,'' he said.
There is a special resuscitation room where these patients will be received. This area will almost have all the facilities of an operating theatre.
Special trolleys have been arranged for showering the acutely burned patient. This will enable good and proper cleaning the patient.
There is a special burn intensive care unit where burns involving large parts of the body will be cared for.
There is an operation theatre specifically designed for the surgery for burnt patients.Separate dressing rooms and facilities for preparing dressing materials specially for these burn injury patients is available.
A facility to manufacture compression garments to be used in the rehabilitation phase, a well supporting physiotherapy unit to get these patients well rehabilitated back to their work and integrate them into the society and facilities to provide psychological counseling for integration into the work place and in the society are the other highlights of this centre, Dr Raja Sabapathy said.
Patients with burns need acute intensive care in the immediate phase to save the life by appropriately replacing the fluid loss that happens in the first few days. If the air passages are also burnt they need intensive care with ventilation. Later by early surgery, much of the deformities that happen in burns can be prevented or reduced. Since the burns may disfigure the patient or functionally compromise the individual, a lot of effort is needed by physiotherapists to rehabilitate the patients. They also need psychological counseling.
These steps are very labour intensive, demanding a lot of time and special skills from the medical and nursing personal. Presently there is no single unit in this region which could offer this facilities under one roof, the doctor said.
In addition to providing world class facilities for treatment of these injuries, the unit will also spearhead a campaign for the prevention of these injuries.
Dr Raja Sabapathy emphasised that the best first aid in the management of burns is to water over the affected area till the pain reduces. Pouring cold water over the area also reduces the damage that the heat does to the tissues.
This centre will also be a nodal centre for performing corrective and reconstructive surgeries for people with deformities with burns. The skills of the Plastic, Hand and Microsurgery department will be fully utilised especially when dealing with people with special burns like the burns due to electrical injuries, acid and chemical burns.
The centre is set up at a cost of about Rs one crore. But apart from this cost, the human resources is going to be very important .``It is labour intensive and we need people willing to do the job, '' the doctor said.
The hospital is also contemplating setting up a skin bank in the near future.