News ID: 188812
Published: 0109 GMT March 06, 2017

Iranian specialist blames skin burns on ‘human error’

Iranian specialist blames skin burns on ‘human error’

An Iranian plastic surgeon voiced concern about the high number of burn victims in the country, blaming most skin burn on ‘human error’.

Dr. Mohammad Javad Fatemi also told Iran Daily that lack of compliance with ‘preventative principles’ as well as ‘standardization’ leads to most skin burns.

Fatemi, who heads the Iranian Burn Patients Support Association, said the rate of burns in Iran is eight times higher than the global average.

“Between 200,000 and 210,000 people are burnt in Iran every year, 180,000 of whom receive outpatient treatment while 30,000 others need inpatient treatment,” he said.

The specialist noted that one tenth of the patients who have to be hospitalized (amounting to 3,000) lose their lives.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), burn is a global public health problem, accounting for an estimated 265,000 deaths annually. 

Fatemi also pointed to obstacles which hamper efforts to provide treatment for burn victims.

He noted that many burn victims, who are among the poor strata, are unable to pay such costs.

The specialist described skin burns as a ‘heartbreaking disease’, stressing that treating and dressing such wounds are difficult to bear.

He said many burn patients isolate themselves ― making them unable to ‘defend their rights’.

The plastic surgeon said burn patients are in pressing need of psychological and consultative support.


Burn types

There are three types of burns which differ in type and severity.

First-degree burns are considered mild compared to other burns. They result in pain and reddening of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin).

Second-degree burns (partial thickness burns) affect the epidermis and the dermis (lower layer of skin). They cause pain, redness, swelling and blistering.

Third-degree burns (full thickness burns) go through the dermis and affect deeper tissues. They result in white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.


Treatment of burns

Burn treatment depends on the type of burn. First-degree burns are usually treated with skin care products. Second-degree burns may be treated with an antibiotic cream or other creams or ointments prescribed by a doctor.

The treatment of third-degree burns may require the process of skin grafting or the use of synthetic skin. Severe burns covering large parts of the body may need more intensive treatments such as intravenous (IV) antibiotics to prevent infection or IV fluids to replace fluids lost when skin was burned.

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