Discharge Information

Southern Tasmania Area Health ServicesTasmanian Health Service - Southern Region

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Discharge Information

Tasmanian Burns Unit - Patient Information Brochure


Going Home

You may be feeling many different emotions such as relief, anxiety, fear, worry, frustration and excitement.

Things may be a little different when you return home as functioning since your burn injury may be altered. You will have had input from physiotherapists and occupational therapists to ensure your home environment is safe and functional.

After discharge it is important to remember the following:

Moisturise

We continually stress the importance of moisturising because it is essential to the healing process. Burns damage the oil glands of the skin which reduces the skins ability to moisturise itself. The repair of these glands can take weeks or months. Firm massage of unperfumed moisturiser, such as sorbolene, into your skin will assist with moisturisation, reduction (and severity) of scarring and reduction of itching. Products that have an oatmeal component (such as dermaveen moisturising lotion) can assist with itch reduction. We recommend moisturising at least three times a day however, more than this is encouraged. Moisturising is a good alternative to itching.

Itching

Unfortunately itching is a very common side effect of burn injury and wound healing. The best thing is to not scratch however resisting this is often very hard. Dry skin can cause itching and for this reason we suggest moisturising as an alternative to scratching. Compression has also been found to assist with itch reduction and it is therefore essential to maintain your pressure garment regime.

If itching is becoming a problem please discuss with nursing or medical staff as there are medications that can be prescribed to assist with itch reduction.

Massage

Massage is imperative to help decrease your chance of developing scarring (and its severity) and assisting to moisten the area. Skin normally balances the production and breakdown of collagen but after injury this process can be disrupted. Over production of collagen causes hardened areas to develop and if left untreated these can grow in width and height. The best treatment in early stages of healing is firm massage, moisture and compression. This reduces the production of collagen and softens the area.

Sun Care

Areas of burn injury, although healed, are very susceptible to sun damage for 12 months. It is imperative that you protect yourself from the sun at all times. If you are going to be out in the sun 30+ SPF sunscreen, sun protective clothing and a hat are the best ways to do this.

Pressure Garments

It is essential that when using your pressure garments you follow the occupational therapist's instructions.

Pressure garment care is very important as it maintains the effectiveness of the garment.

Care Instructions

  • Wash by hand in lukewarm water with a mild detergent (lux soap flakes).
  • Pat dry with a towel and dry in shade out of direct heat or sunlight.
  • DO NOT TUMBLE DRY.
  • If you have any tearing or holes in your garment, contact the occupational therapist straight away.

Silicone Products

It is essential when using silicone products, that you follow the occupational therapist's instructions.

Care Instructions

  • Wash under warm water with a mild soap.
  • Allow product to air dry on a non linting fabric (cotton).

Physiotherapy

You will have seen a physiotherapist in hospital and been given clear instructions regarding an exercise regime for you to follow in hospital and at home. Please continue with these exercises, and keep challenging yourself, within the limits you have been set.

You may also have splints to wear. If so ensure that you and your carers are clear about when and how to use these.

Nutrition

You will need to maintain a high protein high energy diet until you are completely healed and/or back to a healthy weight range. A day or so before your discharge discuss with the dietician and nursing staff the best possible way for you to meet your daily energy requirements.

Psychosocial

It is very normal to experience some disturbing flashbacks, nightmares, feelings, anxiety, fear or sensations around your burn injury and the events leading up to it. Sometimes just talking about the event can help. Please do not hesitate to discuss this with nursing or medical staff. If you wish to see a counsellor the staff will arrange this for you.

Returning to Work or School

Returning to pre-injury activity is good for your rehabilitation. Please discuss any concerns or issues surrounding this with our burns team. Team members, including the clinical nurse consultant, social worker, physiotherapist and occupational therapist can assist with smoothing out this transition.

Review Clinic

When your burns are healed you may need to attend our review clinic. This clinic is held in the Burns Unit outpatient area and is to monitor scar management or any complications that may have arisen since your discharge from hospital or outpatient department.

As this clinic is only held monthly it is vital that you try to attend the appointment booked for you.

If you cannot attend please contact the unit on telephone 03 6166 0098 to reschedule.

Outpatient Appointments

It is important to attend the outpatient appointments arranged for you. If you cannot attend please contact us on telephone
03 6166 0098 to reschedule.If you have any concerns, questions or queries please contact the Tasmanian Burns Unit on telephone (03) 6166 8566.

Contact Details

Burns Outpatient Clinic
12th Floor, Wellington Clinics
Argyle Street

Business Hours

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
Telephone:  6166 0098
Fax:  6234 9636

Wednesdays, Weekends, Public Holidays and after hours contact

Tasmanian Burns Unit
Surgical Specialities
5th Floor, A Block
Telephone:  6166 8566 (this service is also available 24hrs/day for advice)
Fax:  6234 9636

Printable PDF Brochure


The Royal Hobart Hospital (RHH) is Tasmania's largest hospital and provides a number of state-wide services that include cardiothoracic surgery, neurosurgery, burns, hyperbaric and diving medicine, neonatal and paediatric intensive care and high-risk obstetrics.

It is the major teaching and research hospital for the state and works closely with the University of Tasmania.

Many health care professions are taught within the RHH, and gaining skills in examining and interviewing patients is an important part of their education and training.

We ask for your cooperation and encourage you to participate in our teaching and research activities.

Your permission is required for participation.

The RHH encourages feedback from patients, relatives and visitors.  This feedback enables staff to gain a better understanding of the needs of patients and assists us in continuing to provide the best in patient care.  Contact the Manager, Consumer Liaison Service, telephone 1800 811 911.

RHH is a smoke-free site.

Date: October 2013