The IMPACT Project

Burns are more than skin deep

The IMPACT Project.

Burns are a common reason for paediatric emergency department visits and hospitalisations. 200 children are seen by the Burns Unit at Perth Children’s Hospital each year.

Bringing together clinicians that are the best in their fields, the IMPACT project (Improving Psychosocial and Activity outcomes after Childhood burn Trauma) sees the team at the Stan Perron Centre of Excellence for Childhood Burns, headed up by burns specialist Professor Fiona Wood, and Professor Helen Milroy, Stan Perron Chair of Child Psychiatry at PCH, combining to create a research program that aims to assess the psycho-social recovery of children with burn injuries and their families, ultimately leading to improved health outcomes and quality of life.

“Psychological issues in burn injury patients include feelings of guilt, blame and shame, flashbacks, self-consciousness, sadness and anger. In addition, burn patients might grapple with visible scarring that affects their relationships with other people at intimate, friendship and community levels. Poor mental health outcomes are common in all patients admitted with a burn injury.” – Professor Fiona Wood, Director, Burns Service of WA.

The last few decades have witnessed significant advances in treatment and health outcomes for children with burns. Surgical and medical treatments at Perth Children’s Hospital are state of the art, with great outcomes in terms of better and faster physical recovery and less scarring.

Many families miss their babies’ vital screening appointments, putting them at a higher risk of blindness.

In spite of these advances, burn injuries and their treatment can be complex, time consuming and very painful. For some burn survivors, treatment may continue for many years. Evidence from burn programs indicates that a holistic approach to burn care, including early and sustained attention to psycho-social needs can help recovery from trauma.

This can assist burn survivors to adapt to their injuries and new appearance, preventing problems such as social withdrawal, problems with school or work, and not feeling able to live a full and happy life.

You can help support life-changing, ground-breaking research like The IMPACT Project by making a donation today. Your support will help bring clinicians closer who are the best in their fields and support the translation of projects into clinical practice and fund prevention and early intervention research that drastically improves kid’s lives. To make a donation today, click here.

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