Answered Questions is a monthly resource for the Spanish language Disability Community that fills an information need. This month’s question is My spouse recently experienced a burn injury that left them in the hospital. And, due to the burn injury, they are also experiencing pain. Where can I learn more about burn injuries and the pain associated with them? This edition of Answered Questions includes items that discuss the NIDILRR-funded projects related to burn injuries and pain; a study on neuropathic pain control for chronic pain itch; lasting movement problems and long-term rehabilitation; and pain management with the help of anesthesiologists; among others. More about Answered Questions.
NIDILRR (in English) currently funds three Burn Injury Model Systems Centers: the Boston-Harvard Burn Injury Model System Center (BHBIMS) (in English), the North Texas Burn Rehabilitation Model System Center (NTBIRMS) (in English), and the Northwest Burn Injury Model System Center (NWBIMS) (in English). These centers provide a multidisciplinary and comprehensive system of care for burn survivors that fosters innovative burn injury rehabilitation research. For example, the NTBIRMS is currently conducting research on vitamin D deficiency in adults following a major burn injury to compare low dose versus high dose of vitamin D replacement and to evaluate its effects on an individual’s vitamin D levels following supplementation and burn-related symptoms such as fatigue, muscle weakness, pain, and itch, among others.
The above centers also enroll patients in the database managed by the NIDILRR-funded National Data and Statistical Center for Burn Model Systems (in English), a longitudinal database that follows people with burn injuries, provides access to the burn model system (BMS) data, and promotes the inclusion of participants from minority backgrounds in BMS data collection efforts. This Center provides statistical support to the Centers mentioned before and conducts research utilizing the BMS National Database while supporting burn injury research conducted by researchers within and outside the BIMS.
From the NARIC Collection:
Improvements in acute burn care have enabled patients to survive massive burns that would have once been fatal. Patients with these massive burns have extensive scarring and contractures, itch, and pain. Hypertrophic scarring: The greatest unmet challenge following burn injury (in English) is the third article in a series on burn injury in which metabolism and inhalation injury were examine. The authors of this article discuss current strategies for burn wound and scar management and identify areas where more research is needed to reduce post-burn scarring and improve burn survivors’ rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
The fact sheet from the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center (MSKTC) (in English), Outpatient opioid management for adult burn survivors: Update for community providers (PDF), provides information for adults after they have been discharged from the hospital for treatment of their acute burn injury. This information helps community healthcare providers in their provision of comprehensive care in the setting of a national opioid crisis. This factsheet is also available in English.
The MSKTC also provides the factsheet, Managing Pain After Burn Injury (PDF), for people with burn injuries and their families that provides evidence-based information on how to manage their pain, including speaking with the medical professionals that assist them. The factsheet also discusses understanding, treating, and coping with pain. Finally, the factsheet provides resources that people with burn injuries and their families can use to learn more. This factsheet is also available in English.
Research In Focus:
The article, Large Burns Can Cause Lasting Movement Problems, Long-Term Rehabilitation Interventions May Help, discusses a NIDILRR-funded study that looked at the most common movement-related problems that persist after a large burn injury and how much that injury might affect long-term functioning. The results from this study showed that people with burn injuries, especially large area burns, may continue to experience pain, stiffness, and other conditions that cause limitations for many years after their injuries. The authors noted that rehabilitation interventions and physical therapies may help people with large burn injuries to remain active and continue participating in leisure activities. This article is also available in English.
This article from National Geographic, A new generation of pioneering therapies for scarring and burns, discusses new technologies that are helping to rebuild the skin of people with diabetic ulcers, deep burns, and other serious injuries. These technologies are also helping them deal with the pain related to their injuries. The technologies discussed in this article include STEM cell therapy, immunotherapy, and Epicel, a product that uses a small piece of the person’s skin to grow large grafts in the laboratory that can be placed on a framework to heal large wounds.
Pain management in patients with burn injuries, an article from Chilean Journal of Anesthesiology, discusses how pain in people with burn injuries is a complex phenomenon that is frequently underestimated and undertreated, and discusses a model of three pillars in the management of pain for patients with burn injuries. This model includes knowing the mechanisms that cause and perpetuate pain in people with burn injuries and the pathophysiological changes in various stages of healing; knowing how to adequately measure pain; and administering appropriate therapies, including surgical, pharmacological, physical, and occupational therapies to help treat pain. The authors encourage anesthesiologists to contribute to the pain management of people with burn injuries by helping to facilitate the closures of injuries as soon as possible; in the pharmacological management of pain after surgery; and as consultants in the management of baseline pain, particularly when they observe a person with burn injuries is resistant to the use of opioids.
- The MSKTC works closely with the researchers at the NIDILRR-funded Burn Model Systems (in English) to develop resources for people with burn injuries, their families and friends, and service providers. These evidence-based materials include factsheets in English and Spanish, videos (in English), infocomics (in English), and slideshows (in English). The MSKTC seeks participants with burn injuries and their families to help develop informative materials (in English). The MSKTC also leads the Burn Ambassador Program (in English) that helps connect people who are passionate about improving the lives of people with burn injuries. These ambassadors take part in research activities, help create and test MSKTC resources, and share these free resources with those who will benefit from them the most.
- NARIC’s blog, Spotlight (posts in English and Spanish), hosts a variety of blog posts on burn injuries and/or pain. These posts include:
- Pain Awareness Month – Tools to Talk About and Manage Living with Chronic Pain.
- Resources from the NIDILRR Community for People with Burn Injuries.
- In a Scale of 1 to 10, #PainCounts.
About Answered Questions
Each month, we look through the searches on our blog and through the information requests made by our patrons who speak Spanish and pick a topic that fills the largest need. Each resource mentioned above is associated with this month’s information need. We search the various Spanish language news sources and feeds throughout the month to bring you these articles. Apart from the NIDILRR Projects, From the NARIC Collection, and Further Investigation, all the linked articles and resources are in Spanish – any that are in English will be clearly marked.