Rehabilitation is integral to the treatment of burn patients. The process starts almost immediately from admission through discharge and outpatient treatment. At OSF HealthCare Saint Anthony Medical Center, rehabilitation from burns relies on a team approach, incorporating the patient and, when appropriate, family members.
Burns can be life altering and may impact all areas of daily living. Occupational Therapy helps burn patients return to work, maximize independence and improve quality of life by helping them recover day-to-day functionality.
Physical Therapy must begin on the day of admittance and can continue well beyond discharge. It might include years of recurring treatments and exercises. Treatment goals and strategies vary, depending on the nature of the patient's injury, age and comorbidities. Goals range from minimizing loss of range of motion in the critically ill patient to establishing a work-hardening program in recovered patients.
Speech-Language Pathologists (SLPs) help burn patients with communication challenges and swallowing disorders (dysphagia) that are common in cases of severe burns because of ventilator use, prolonged or multiple intubations and tracheostomy tubes.