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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

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Dr. Ornela Ademovi

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2004

Answered : 593 Questions

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Posted on Tue, 10 Jul 2018 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hallo
My name is Carina, and I'm a writer trying to do some research, so my question might be a bit odd.
My scenario is a 30 year old male in good physical condition, but suffering from 3rd degree burns to his back and continuing up his neck. As I understand it, the course of action would be cleaning the wound and using a skin graft either made in a lab or taken from the patient himself. My question is regarding the pain. As I understand it, due to the tissue damage, 3rd degree burns can be painless, but it wound seem logical to me that a severe burn would have different degrees, for example around the edges it might be a milder degree burn. Is this correct? And would the pain from a large wound like that be manageable without medication?
Would a skin graft taken from healthy parts of the body make the chances of infection grater since it'd mean more open wounds? And would it increase the pain level?
Further more, if knocked unconscious in the explosion that caused the burns, how long would it take before he could be expected to regain consciousness?

I know this is all hypothetical and not your job, so thank you for your time, and I hope you have a fantastic day!
Much appreciation,
Carina K. L.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Ornela Ademovi 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Please see as below

Detailed Answer:
Hello XXXXXXX and thank you for using this platform for your questions related to medicine.
I will try to answer your questions possibly not in the order they were asked.
Third degree burn level of pain and treatment may vary depending on the area affected. For large areas such as the back, as in the scenario you mentioned, intravenous fluids and antibiotics would be essential to replace fluid loss and to prevent skin infections. Skin grafting may be necessary to prevent scars and it associated to infections in up to 20% of cases, the most common culprit being P. aeruginosa, an airborne germ.
In a large area such as the back a third degree burn would not be even. In areas where all the skin layers are burned the pain can be minimal, however other areas can cause excrutiang pain. Burn pain is very tricky to treat as it comprises many pain components and any manipulation of the burn area, such as wound care and treatment and even skin grafting can increase the pain.
As for the time needed to regain consciousness, that is unpredictable and may vary due to many factors such as the area and the strength of the impact etc.

I hope this answers your questions. You are welcome to ask further questions.

Wishing you success in your endeavors and all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Nagamani Ng
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