Burn care treatment has improved rapidly over the past 20 years. Ten years ago, a patient was considered high risk if he had 40% total body surface area (TBSA) burns. Burn treatment has improved since then and now the threshold for high risk is over 60% TBSA.
Patients with a large percentage of TBSA need longer hospital confinement. After the initial treatment, they can transfer to a long-term acute care (LTAC) facility such as the Landmark Hospital Salt Lake City to continue receiving patient care.
Length of Stay
A study involving 31 male burn patients between the ages of 17 and 45 showed that there is a bimodal distribution of their stay in hospitals. About half of patients are confined for 15 days or less, while another another large group comprising a fifth of the patients spend more than 28 days.
Among the causes of the longer stay were lower mobility and hand function. After a stay at the burn ICU, the patients are transferred to a step-down facility where they continue their recovery. They may be transferred to an LTAC hospital for the rest of their confinement.
Burns are not the only concern of patients. There is the care and therapy needed while the patient recovers. When the wounds have stabilized, the next step is therapy for those who have lost some of their mobility. Their wounds are not yet fully healed, but they are no longer in any danger.
They might not be able to move around even with a wheelchair. Their therapy would include moving the joints and ensuring that the skin and muscles do not regrow to hinder movement or contracture.
These are cases where the skin growth prevents the joints like the knees and elbows through their proper motions. Their stay at an LTAC would be less expensive than their continued stay at a burn center or a traditional hospital.
An LTAC hospital is capable of caring for the needs of a patient recovering from burns. They no longer need to stay at a burn center, but still require constant care and monitoring. The LTAC facility provides these services for those needing a prolonged stay.