After staying in the hospital for a period of time, there will come a time when the patient has to be discharged home. When the burn team decides that the patient is ready to be discharged, a plan will be set for the discharge. The case manager will work with the patient and his/her family to coordinate for the discharge. Some patients will be discharged to a rehabilitation center to continue their treatment. Don't hesitate to ask any question you have regarding your discharge plan. The discharge plan will include:
- The medications that the patient will use after discharge: before discharge you have to know the medications that you have to continue using, how to take them, the dose, how many times a day, what the medicine is used for and what are the possible side effects of the drugs. You have to finish any prescription you are given even if you are feeling good.
- The diet that you should consume: a well balanced, healthy diet should be consumed by the patient with plenty of fluids. If there are diet restrictions it will be discussed with the patient before discharge which will differ from one patient to another depending on the situation of the patient (see Nutrition and Burns).
- Physical activity: activity is important to prevent joint stiffness and avoid muscle power loss. The patient, before discharge, will be given instructions from the burn team regarding the activities that the patient can participate in. The patient should avoid certain activities like heavy lifting until the physician tells the patient it's ok to do them. Some patients may need physical or occupational therapy at home as part of the recovery process (this will be arranged by the hospital staff).
- Some patients may need certain equipment like a wheelchair. The case manager with the burn team will work with the patient so that the patient will have the equipment needed.
- Taking care of the wound and the dressings: see also burn wound care at home, wound infection. Follow all the instructions given to you by your treating staff. Ask your doctor when you can begin bathing or showering.
- Compression garments: some patients may need compression garments which are used for the treatment of scars, they work by applying pressure to the affected area which helps flatten and improve the appearance of the scar.
- Follow ups: make sure to keep all the follow ups, if you miss one, call to re schedule it.