Treatments for burn victims to facilitate early cosmetic and function recovery

Updated on Nov 29, 2022 03:11 PM IST

Conventional treatments for burn involve surgeries, such as skin/tissue grafting, which are invasive and functions of the affected part can be altered. Here are non/minimally invasive treatments that can be initiated as early as possible to facilitate cosmetic and function recovery.

Treatments for burn victims to facilitate early cosmetic and function recovery (Yan Krukov)
Treatments for burn victims to facilitate early cosmetic and function recovery (Yan Krukov)
ByZarafshan Shiraz, Delhi

Being a burn victim can be extremely painful both physically and psychologically where burn refers to tissue damage that can occur due to heat, radiation, chemicals, or electrical contact. Depending on how deep the burn has penetrated the skin surface, it can be staged from first to third degree and burns that cover more than 10% of the body in children and 15-20% in adults are considered major and require hospitalization with intensive treatment and rehabilitation.

Treatment of blisters and superficial tissue damage, as well as underlying organ damage that can affect other functions of the body, is important. After emergency management to stabilise the patient and manage symptoms, treatments are largely cosmetic and take years to be completed.

More so, conventional treatments involve surgeries, such as skin/tissue grafting, which are invasive and functions of the affected part can be altered due to scars left behind after burns and surgeries. Therefore, the need of the hour is novel non/minimally invasive treatments that can be initiated as early as possible to facilitate cosmetic and function recovery.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Pradeep Mahajan, Regenerative Medicine Researcher at StemRx Bioscience Solutions Pvt Ltd talked about a cell and growth factor-based approach to treat burn victims and explained, “We have to start by understanding the inflammatory (internal swelling) and edema (fluid collection within tissues) process. These happen during the immediate stages of burns and cause changes in blood pressure and other vital parameters, as well as pain and ultimately scar formation that can affect function.”

There are stem cells in our body that play roles in tissue repair, maintaining the functions of the immune system, providing a healthy pool of cells to replace those that are lost due to daily wear and tear (as well as disease) and enhancing the functions of other specialized cells. These cells also have anti-inflammatory and anti-scar properties, which help in the wound healing process.

Considering that these cells are already present in the body (in the bone marrow, fat tissue and even blood), it is easy to obtain them through a minimally invasive procedure. Dr Pradeep Mahajan said, “Our aim is to provide a healthy pool of cells in the desired areas to speed up healing while minimising complications. Stem cells enhance the function of various types of cells in the body and contribute to restoring the internal balance (homeostasis) of the body.”

Through the various properties of stem cells and growth factors (consider them as nutrition-providing molecules), the swelling and fluid collection is reduced, pain is controlled, dead tissue in the affected areas is cleared more efficiently, and scar formation is minimised. All these lead to improved cosmetic and functional outcomes.

“Timely intervention is important. The longer we wait, the healing processes affected by the burn might not occur effectively, leading to long-term issues. We have treated several burn victims with our personalized cell, growth factor, and allied rehabilitative treatment protocols. Depending on the extent of burns, patients have been able to resume their routine activities in as less as 2 weeks, with significant recovery in about 2-3 months,” concluded Dr Mahajan.

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