Dr Jenny Paratz, a research scientist within the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital’s Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre, along with burns surgeons, intensive care doctors and cardiologists, is beginning a study into a previously underdeveloped area of burns research relating to myocardial dysfunction in patients who have suffered burn trauma.
The process of injury following a severe burn is multifaceted and complex. Oedema (swelling and tissue leakage) occurs not only at the site of injury, but throughout the body and the immediate first 12 hours after injury are critical. Current scientific evidence suggests that the heart is damaged directly by chemicals during this time which are leaked into the body from the burn during this critical time.The treatment, management and survival rate of burns patients has vastly improved in recent years, with existing information regarding myocardial function in burns becoming outdated and inconclusive. For that reason, RBWH’s Burns, Trauma and Critical Care Research Centre is to begin this world first study in order to pinpoint the precise effects of burns trauma on the heart and the causes of myocardial dysfunction in these patients. The results will provide important guidelines on both management of the heart following a severe burns trauma and will lead to future studies on prevention of myocardial dysfunction after burns.This research will provide extremely valuable information to improve practices that will benefit burns survivors across the globe.(Source: Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Research Foundation : July 2007)