Measurement of change in the mechanical properties of burned skin to therapist intervention with a vacuum device

Vincent Gabriel, Karen Kowalske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction The currently available clinical scales used to describe healed burn wounds have limitations. Quantitative measurement of the outcomes from burn therapy treatment would be useful in planning clinical care, resource allocation and research. The purpose of this study was to observe the measurements of a portable materials testing device before and after burn therapist intervention for closed burns. Methods A recording was taken using a hand-held vacuum device to measure deformation of the skin in the same location prior to and following a treatment session with a burn therapist in an outpatient clinic at a tertiary burn center. Results Twenty-eight subjects were recruited to the study. Statistically significant differences were noted in modulus and elasticity change between sheet and meshed split thickness autografts (p = 0.0233). Positive change in modulus was correlated with increasing therapy time (R = 0.46), specifically for meshed grafts (R = 0.70). Positive change in modulus was noted in therapy time greater than 48 min. Conclusions Quantitative measurement of the outcomes of burn therapies on the mechanical properties of healed burns is possible in an outpatient clinic setting. Improvement in the stiffness of burn scars was observed in treatment sessions that last at least 48 min.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)796-802
Number of pages7
JournalBurns
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

Keywords

  • Burn
  • Rehabilitation
  • Scar
  • Therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Surgery

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