Journal articlesManaging the pain of burn wounds

Managing the pain of burn wounds

01/03/10 | Service delivery | Keith Judkins, Laura Clark

A significant burn is one of the most painful injuries a person can suffer. Unfortunately, burn pain is also one of the most difficult to alleviate, as both its severity and duration are highly variable. Essential treatments, such as wound debridement, skin grafting and physiotherapy, can cause more pain initially but may diminish the pain experience overall. If direct pain is not well controlled, not only will the patient suffer immediately, but he or she may take longer to recover and may develop chronic pain. Worryingly, studies show that pain is frequently under-estimated and under-treated, even in specialist burn centres (Patterson et al, 2004).