Recently in Pain Management in Burn Patients Category

May 31, 2012

Pediatric Burns Suffered Inside Hospital; Incident Will Likely Result in Lawsuit Against Hospital

A California family is coming to Shriner's Hospital in Sacramento as often as three times a month for treatment of third degree burns they say their baby incurred inside another hospital.

On March 28, 2012, Lylah's parents, Tiffany Payne and Stanley Quezada, took the baby to Mercy Merced's emergency room suffering from diarrhea and dehydration. According to Payne, a nurse tried to start an intravenous line, but was unable to do so. They then called a phlebotomist from the pediatric unit to come down and do it. But Quezada says they pricked the baby's skin a total of 14 times.

The family attorney, Moseley Collins, says in an attempt to try to find the vein, a nurse held a bright light to Lylah's left palm. However, the nurse did not realize the light was so hot it was causing third degree burns. "It was held up to the baby's hand for about eight minutes," Payne said. "She was screaming at the top of her lungs."

At first, Payne and Quezada thought the nurse used a flashlight. Now they think it is possible the light was one normally used inside a vaginal spectrum device. When used properly inside the spectrum, the light never makes contact with the skin, so it does not cause burns. Mercy Merced Hospital, owned by Dignity Health, did not clarify what the light was, but did say it was "unapproved" for how it might have been used with the baby.

In a May 11 letter to the family attorney, Barbara Van Koll, a Dignity Health area claims manager, wrote this: "The nurses used an unapproved light source to locate a vein." She went on to add that "since that light source does not get hot on the sides, the nurses were not aware of its potential to get hot and were thus unaware of the burn." Van Koll's letter indicated the health care system would reimburse the family for "reasonable expenses."

Mercy Merced representative Bob McLaughlin also wrote the following: "We take this incident very seriously and have conducted a thorough review of the events. We are working with the family to ensure Lylah's needs are met."

Lylah is still suffering pain, as Payne massages and stretches the skin on the baby's hand wound several times each day. Because of the burn, Lylah has to wear a burn glove for up to two years, and she'll have permanent scarring. "This little girl will have a damaged left hand for the rest of her life," said family attorney Collins. "Everyday she'll get up and look at that hand. This is a case where she should be compensated for what she's going through."

In late May, the hospital received notification a potential lawsuit. How long Mercy Merced has to settle the case before a lawsuit is initiated will be up to the family's attorney.

If you or someone you know suffers an injury such as third degree burns or smoke inhalation, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a strong legal case.

February 16, 2012

Quick Thinking Minimizes Burn Injury After Scald Accident

In late January in a small town in Illinois, a mother and father helped to minimize the injury to their nine-year-old daughter from a burn accident, by knowing what to do and acting quickly.

What would you do if your child got scalded by boiling hot water, or if you saw a restaurant worker scalded by hot liquid or food? Doctors say this is something that parents and restaurants employees alike should know, because these scalding accidents happens a lot.

The young girl in this case did sustain second degree burns and third degree burns, and was still in considerable plain a few weeks after the burn accident. But without her parents' fast actions, the girl probably would have had much worse injuries--which could have required skin graft surgery to repair damaged skin.

The girl was eating with her family at a restaurant when a pot of steaming hot water for tea that was placed on the table turned over. When the boiling water spilled into the girl's lap, it burned right through her clothes and skin to the inner layers of the dermis, where nerves and blood vessels are. "I started to feel like I was on fire, and I just started to scream," the girl said afterward.

First, the girl's parents pulled her pants off to cool her down. "I didn't care that we were in the middle of a restaurant--they had to come off," said her father. "At that point, though, I could already feel some of the skin blistering."

Her mother, a nurse, ran to the kitchen and grabbed ice and cold water. "I grabbed an iced tea pitcher and filled it with water, and sat her down with the ice and held her and poured the ice and the water, continually dumping some of it into her lap," the mother said. "You have to stop the burning process. Even though the top layer of skin could be dry, the burning is still going in the skin layers below. If you can stop that deeper burning, you can stop a lot of the injury damage."

The girl's doctor at the burn center at Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, IL said that was good thinking. "To try to cool down a burn injury is important. Particularly when a victim has clothing that has hot liquid on it, that heat is still transferring heat to the skin," he said.

A few weeks later, the girl is well enough to play board games to ease her pain. "It makes me forget that I got burned," she says. In addition, some virtual reality video games have been proven to help burn victims lessen their pain by taking their minds of of their burn injuries for minutes or hours at a time, even when pain medication does not help.

The girl's doctor says that 40 percent of Loyola's burn unit patients are children. Most of them were burned with hot water or food. This is why parents must know what to do in the event their child suffers a burn accident, and why restaurant workers should know as well.

If you or someone you know suffers an injury such as third degree burns or smoke inhalation, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a strong legal case.

November 18, 2011

Severe Burns Among Pediatrics Can Heal With Fewer Treatments, New Study Finds

Here is a research finding that could improve the recovery experience for pediatric patients who have suffered severe burns.

In mid-October, a study was released by researchers at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Missouri that says that fewer treatments are just as effective as the present standard of care given to children suffering from burns. The research was presented at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

"Given the risk of infection, dressings for burn patients need to be changed once or twice a day. This experience can be traumatic, especially for a young child," said Daniel Ostlie, M.D., director, Surgical Critical Care at Children's Mercy and lead investigator of the study. "If we can reduce this trauma just the slightest bit by eliminating one of the topical applications - with no major implications for outcome - we can make a significant improvement in the patient recovery experience."

In the randomized study, researchers compared the effectiveness of two burn therapies commonly used to facilitate the healing process: topical silver sulfadiazine, which is an antimicrobial treatment; and collagenase ointment, which is an enzyme therapy. While silver sulfadiazine is frequently used for its anti-bacterial properties, collagenase ointment is believed to shorten the healing time of burn wounds.

"For all of our burn patients, we want to avoid more invasive treatment, such as skin graft, because these add another layer of distress for the patient and the family," said Janine Pettiford, M.D., surgical scholar in the Department of Surgery at Children's Mercy and an author of the study. "Non-invasive topical therapies have proven to be effective, but no studies have demonstrated if one treatment is more effective than another in reducing the odds that the patient would need a skin graft."

Using a consistent intervention approach with both therapies, researchers found there was no difference in the need for skin grafting between the two therapies. Additionally, the cost difference between the therapies was insignificant.

Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 314-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 18, and has been recognized by the American Nurses Credentialing Center with Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services, and ranked in U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Children's Hospitals" listing for all 10 specialties the magazine ranks.

I you or someone you know does suffer a severe burn injury or a smoke inhalation injury, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a solid legal case.

May 19, 2011

New treatment for regulating body temperature and pain management in burn patients

Cumberland Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced in mid-May that results from a clinical study evaluating the safety and efficacy of Caldolor (ibuprofen) given intravenously to treat fever and pain in hospitalized burn patients was published in Volume 32, Number 1 of the Journal of Burn Care & Research.

The study demonstrated that Caldolor significantly reduces fever in these patients, including those with severe thermal burns. The newly published study also supports the safety of Caldolor as it involved the highest dose and duration of exposure to IV ibuprofen to date, demonstrating that the recommended maximum daily dose of 3200 mg/day over five days of treatment was well tolerated.

"Immediate and sustained regulation of body temperature and reduction of fever following a burn injury is critical to patient recovery as well as comfort," said Dr. John T. Promes, principal investigator of the study, Director of Trauma Services and Associate Director for Surgical Education at Orlando Regional Medical Center.

"Because oral administration in hospitalized burn patients is often impossible due to sedation, intubation or other factors, fever reduction with an IV agent such as Caldolor is often necessary." Further, as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), Caldolor has the potential to stop the escalation of inflammation caused by burn injury and alleviate pain in addition to fever.

The trial was conducted at five U.S. and international sites, including hospital burn units and burn centers. The study evaluated 61 adult burn patients with second-degree or third-degree burns covering more than 10 percent total body surface area with an anticipated hospital stay of more than 72 hours and fever of 100.4 degrees or greater. Patients were administered 800 mg of Caldolor every six hours for five consecutive days. There was a significant reduction in temperature in the first 24 hours of treatment in patients receiving Caldolor compared with those receiving a placebo. Caldolor was well tolerated and there was no significant difference in adverse events between patients receiving placebo and those receiving Caldolor.

According to the American Burn Association, 1.1 million burn injuries require medical attention each year in the United States. Of these, approximately 50,000 burn injuries require hospitalization, 20,000 are major burn injuries affecting 25 percent of total body surface area and 4,500 people die. In addition, up to 10,000 people in the United States die every year from burn-related infections.

Caldolor is indicated for the management of mild to moderate pain and management of moderate to severe pain as an adjunct to opioid analgesics, and for the reduction of fever in adults. It is the first FDA approved intravenous therapy for fever.