+Anonymously helping burn patients and victims....

contact us: asktheburnsurgeon@yahoo.com

Monday, November 4, 2013

Doc, what is skin grafting ? - part II (pictures, photos, pre and post, before and after, of 3rd, third degree contact burns treated by skin grafting +)

Dear Doc,
my son had burns on the sole of his feet from stepping on hot burning coal after our barbeque party. My doctor treated him for 2 weeks but the burns are not healing. He feels that this is a 3rd (third) degree burn that may need skin grafting. Am worried about this surgery. I have read in detail about the surgery on the internet but I will be really glad and grateful if you could put up some pictures to show how it is really done. Is it a painful procedure, how long does the donor site take to heal?... please do reply and thanks...Shirley p,   Philippines

Dear Shirley,
Thank you for the letter, am sorry to hear your son had a burn injury. You must read this post:
before you proceed to see the pictures put up . The pictures are self explanatory.

                                       1. thigh prepared for a split thickness skin graft

                             2. the start of a skin graft take with a humby knife ++

                              3. thigh donor site after a split thickness graft is taken +

            4. third degree contact burn wound 
        on the foot prepared for skin grafting+ +

                       5. skin graft being applied on a  deep contact burn- foot +

Hope this was helpful,
with best wishes,

Sunday, November 3, 2013

2nd ( second ) degree burns of the hand, smoke inhalation injury, house fire

Dear Burns Surgeon,

I was wondering if you could tell me, what effects does smoke inhalation have on the body?
And also, if you were to try to put out the flames to a house fire with your hands, what sort of burns would you most likely sustain? Do you have any relevant pictures of these sorts of burns before they have healed and are quite new?
I am researching this information for an assessment, I would very much appreciate any help you can give me.
Thank you,
A Twyford

Dear ms Twyford,

Thanks for the letter. When the house catches fire, we panic and in that panic situation we hardly take any precautions like wearing gloves or gas masks. In trying to put out the flames one may suffer from two problems:

a) smoke inhalation injury
Smoke inhalation injury as the name implies results from the smoke inhaled by the person liberated during the fire. Smoke causes damage because of
i) the heat or thermal injury
ii) the different gases and chemical constituents  present in the smoke

Severe smoke inhalation injury therefore can result in respiratory distress or breathing difficult, direct tissue and lung damage, which can  later be complicated by infection, pneumonia, collapse, ARDS ( adult respiratory distress syndrome ) and respiratory failure. The gases like carbon monoxide  are absorbed in the body and result in toxicity and injury to the brain and heart. Other toxic substances which are  generally products of incomplete combustion attached to smoke particles also are inhaled and cause severe injury depending on their chemical nature.

b) direct burns
In a house fire it is difficult to predict what type of hand burns the individual will suffer from. 
Hand burns may be of different grades- 1st, 2nd and 3rd degree depending on the fire as well as the time and extent of exposure. Often the person may suffer contact burns- which occurs when the hand comes in direct contact with the hot or burning object. Contact burns are usually deep.

Hand burns can be devastating as they can end up in severe deformities. While superficial burns may heal well, the deep 2nd degree and 3rd degree burns may need surgery of skin grafting for proper healing. The second degree burns itself may be confusing as within the second degree burns itself we may find different presentations such as shown above. Some areas may have blistering, others  peeled skin and still others with dark red bloody color. Some of these areas may become deeper and change their degree, hence a daily follow up is essential in following these burn wounds. Infection can often cause a burn to become deeper and so can poor circulation or blood flow to the burn wound. The burn wound shown above healed over a period of twenty days with achievement of full hand function.

Hope this information was helpful,

you could also check these additional links:



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