Faculty/Staff
University of Missouri Homepage
Print    Email
Decrease (-) Restore Default Increase (+) font size
Burn Treatment


Medical professionals have made major strides in the way burns are treated, greatly improving outcomes for burn patients.

Skin Substitutes and Cultured Skin
An important advance in the treatment of thermal injury was the introduction of cultured skin and skin substitutes, such as Biobrane®. The burn care team first used Biobrane® in 1979. Today they are also using a new permanent skin substitute called AlloDerm®.

In addition to skin substitutes, staff in the Burn Care Center has been at the forefront in the use of cultured skin. The process involves growing a patient's skin in the laboratory and expanding it from a small biopsy to 10,000 times its normal size. Physicians at University Hospital began culturing skin in the mid-1980s, and the skin became widely available in the early 1990s.

Although skin substitutes greatly have improved outcomes for burn patients, research into improved methods of caring for burn patients continues. Real skin has nerve endings, hair follicles, and sweat glands, which science cannot yet duplicate.

Biobrane®

  • Applied when the patient is admitted
  • Does not require dressing changes
  • Adheres to the wound
  • Permits movement yet does not interfere with wound care
  • Removed when the wound is healed

Biobrane® on a patient's right forearm.
Biobrane® on a patient's right forearm.

Biobrane® on a patient's trunk.
Biobrane® on a patient's trunk.

Nutritional Support for Burn Patients
Nutrition is another area in which significant advances have been made in the care of burn patients. For the past 10 years, physicians have followed the approach of internally feeding the burn patient immediately after arrival. A burn injury greatly taxes the patient's body. The body responds by becoming hypermetabolic--a process that continues until the wound is covered. This extraordinary demand is met by feeding burn patients two to three times their normal intake.

Thermal Injury Dressings

  • Applied when the patient is admitted
  • Does not require dressing changes
  • Adheres to the wound
  • Permits movement yet does not interfere with wound care

Removed when the wound is healed.

Hand Burns

  • Leave blisters intact
  • Apply ointment to the wound two to three times a day
  • Use a protective glove that covers the wound and yet has minimal impact on function

Protective glove on burned hand.
Protective glove on burned hand.

Patient can use hand while wearing protective glove.
Patient can use hand while wearing protective glove.




Human Resources Giving Disclaimer Notice of Privacy Practices Web Communications Social Media Site Index
Mizzou University of Missouri University of Missouri System