Firefighters fanning fundraising flames

A group of local firefighters have put their bodies on the line to help children with scarring from burns injuries in WA.

Children who have scarring from burns injures now have access to cutting-edge new equipment at Princess Margaret Hospital, all thanks to Perth firefighters who bared all in the Perth Firefighter’s Calendar to fundraise for PMH Foundation to support the Burns Unit at the hospital.

Using proceeds from the sale of the calendar, PMH Foundation and the Fiona Wood Foundation recently funded the purchase of a new Lumenis Carbon Dioxide Laser, which was unveiled by pre-eminent WA burns researcher Dr Fiona Wood and Princess Margaret Hospital burns specialist Dr Suzanne Rea.

The Lumenis Carbon Dioxide Laser is the latest in state-of-the-art laser treatment used for patients with significant hypertrophic (raised, lumpy or itchy) burns scarring.

There are more than 5000 burns outpatient appointments at Princess Margaret Hospital each year, and already there are 85 children on the waiting list to receive the curting-edge new treatment.

PMH Foundation Chief Executive Officer Denys Pearce said WA is first the State in Australia to offer the laser treatment to burns patients regardless of their age.

“While the laser is currently used to treat adult burns patients elsewhere in Australia and child burns patients in NSW, WA will be the first State to offer the treatment to child and adult burns patients, giving children at Princess Margaret Hospital access to the same treatment which has revolutionised the treatment of burns scarring in adults,” he said.

The treatment is helping children like 12-year-old Clayton, who was burnt on his arm when boiling kettle fell on him while camping at just three-years-old.

As he’s grown up Clayton’s scar has remained red and lumpy, but after one treatment with the laser he’s already seen an improvement in the appearance of the scar.

Dr Rea says a huge benefit of the new treatment is that it a simple and easy process to administer treatment using the laser.

“Children can come in, receive the laser therapy and then go home in the same day. The down time is so little and patients don’t even have to wear compression garments afterwards,” Dr Rea said.

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