Burns can be the most painful injuries
No one who has not experienced a severe burn can begin to fathom the severity of the pain involved. If kidney stones and childbirth rank a 10 on the 10 point pain scale, hydrotherapy and debridement after massive second degree burns rank in the hundreds or thousands on the same scale.
There are no words to describe that pain. Only screams from the depth of the soul can express it.
In the Atlanta region, the Grady Burn Center is the place to go for expert treatment of burns.
For burn victims and their families, the road to recovery is likely to be both long and difficult. Here are a few online resources that may be of use:
- Burn Resource Center
- Johns Hopkins Burn Center – good patient info.
- Practical Guidelines for nutritional management of burn injury & recovery
- Burn Rehabilitation article
A high protein diet is essential in recovering from a burn injury. An easy way to boost protein intake is to supplement meals with high protein meal bars and whey protein powder mixed into smoothies or other food can help.
Compression garments must be worn for many months to minimize scarring. Some patients come up with more comfortable options in summer that the hot, scratchy custom made compression garments. For example, biker shorts, Coolmax running tights and Under Armour Heat compression shirts may may provide the compression needed for burns on arms, legs and torso, in a manner that is more bearable in hot weather.
For some people, it is also psychologically more positive to use protein supplements and compression garments that are designed and marketed for athletic rather than medical purposes.
Many burn survivors have very significant changes in body image and self concept, leading to understandable depression. Burn centers have burn survivor support groups that can be invaluable to the recovery process.
Of course, I am not a doctor — just another guy who has been there and knows from experience what it is like — and cannot give medical advice. All burn victims should seek medical advice and guidance from the physicians at the burn clinic where they are treated.
Ken Shigley is a trial attorney in Atlanta, Georgia who has been listed among the "Legal Elite" (Georgia Trend Magazine), as a "Super Lawyer" (Atlanta Magazine), and in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers (Martindale). He is a Certified Civil Trial Advocate of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Mr. Shigley has extensive experience representing parties in trucking and bus accidents, products liability, catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death, brain injury, spinal cord injury and burn injury cases. Currently he is Treasurer of the 40,000 member State Bar of Georgia.