Because a young life can change in an instant - New booklet helps young burn victims and their families during difficult time

MONTREAL, Oct. 7, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - It took just a second to change young Émil Couillard's life.  One minute, the three-and-a-half-year-old was playing outside his home with his siblings and his parents; a split second later, while running through the yard, he fell face down into a small fire of burning branches and leaves.  His hands, neck and parts of his face were covered in severe burns.  After being stabilized at a local medical facility, Émil was transferred to the Montreal Children's Hospital for highly-specialized care.

Each year, 200 infants, children or teens are treated for burns in the Trauma Centre of the Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH). About 20 to 30 of these children are so severely injured they are admitted to hospital.   It can be an extremely difficult and scary time for the child and family.

To help patients and families cope, the Trauma specialists at the hospital have published a booklet called The Management of Burn Trauma in Children and Teens: A guide for parents and families. "It explains the different severities of burns, the various treatment phases and the healing process. It also provides advice on treating the injury once the child has returned home with information about dressing changes, scarring and medication. The booklet includes information on the potential psychological impact including issues with body image.  The goal is to explain the entire care process in order to help patients make as full a recovery as possible," says Debbie Friedman, MCH Trauma Director. The booklet will be given to families who have been admitted for burn care at the MCH and will be placed on the hospital website (thechildren.com/trauma) so families across Quebec and around the world can benefit from the information and advice.

"Having a child in the hospital with a burn injury can be a traumatic experience. The booklet is designed to give patients and families information on what to expect throughout the different phases of their hospital stay, treatment and recovery," says lead author Diane Richard, a nurse and Trauma Coordinator of the Burn Trauma Program of the MCH.

The booklet was made possible thanks to a generous donation from the Quebec Firefighters Foundation for Major Burn Victims.   "As a burn victim myself, I know a severe burn can be one of the most traumatic injuries a child can suffer not only physically but emotionally," says Raymond Barabé, Secretary of the Quebec Firefighters Foundation for Major Burn Victims.  "Our Foundation is proud to support the work of the trauma specialists at the Montreal Children's Hospital."

Ms. Friedman points out that most burns are preventable and taking some simple steps like replacing batteries in fire detectors, using a travel mug around the house for hot drinks and closely supervising children in the kitchen can go a long way to preventing traumatic burn injuries. She encourages people to find out more about burn injury prevention on the hospital website, www.thechildren.com or the website for the Service de sécurité  incendie de Montréal, www.ville.montreal.qc.ca.

The Montreal Children's Hospital is the pediatric teaching hospital of the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC). The institution is a leader in the care and treatment of sick infants, children, and adolescents from across Quebec. The Montreal Children's Hospital provides a high level and broad scope of health care services, and provides ultra-specialized care in many fields including: cardiology and cardiac surgery; neurology and neurosurgery, traumatology; genetic research; psychiatry and child development and musculoskeletal conditions, including orthopedics and rheumatology. Fully bilingual and multicultural, the institution respectfully serves an increasingly diverse community in more than 50 languages. www.thechildren.com

SOURCE: The Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation

For further information:

Stephanie Tsirgiotis
Public Relations and Communications
Montreal Children's Hospital
514-412-4400, local 23870
stephanie.tsirgiotis@muhc.mcgill.ca


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