A patient holds out his burned hands resting his bandaged arms on a pillow as a rehabilitation specialist examines them

Rehabilitation supports healing for burn patients

Vladimir survived an explosion in Ukraine, but suffered severe burns. Humanity & Inclusion is supporting his recovery with rehabilitation exercises and care to facilitate proper healing.

In early March, a gas tank exploded in Ukraine, injuring seven people and killing one.

The violent explosion severely burned Vladimir’s exposed skin: his hands, arms, face and neck.

“First, we were taken to the regional district hospital, but we only stayed for a few hours,” Vladimir explains. “Then I was transferred to another hospital into the acute care department. The doctors had to transplant skin from my back.”

After initial treatment of his injuries, Vladimir began working with Humanity & Inclusion’s physical therapists to support his healing process with rehabilitation exercises.

 “I have been doing stretches and exercises for my fingers, because the skin needs to be stretched so it can move again,” Vladimir says.

“If I compare my condition and the flexibility of my burned fingers with the guys who were discharged before me, my results are much better," he adds. "If I had been at home by myself, I wouldn’t have been able to use these special splints or bandages, so this has been very important for me and for others.”

Humanity & Inclusion's rehabilitation experts are helping to build capacity and offer training to medical staff in Ukraine who are caring for patients with burns, amputations or other conflict-related injuries.

“This is typical of the types of war-related injuries we have been seeing in Ukraine,” says Violette Van Bever, Humanity & Inclusion’ emergency rehabilitation manager. “Blasts from explosive weapons are causing significant burns and amputations in some cases. In cases like this, rehabilitation is paramount to ensure proper healing of the skin. Otherwise, the joints can shorten, thicken and lose their flexibility, preventing patients from being able to move as they heal.”

When Vladimir is discharged from the hospital, he plans to return for weekly follow-up sessions with his rehabilitation specialists as his healing process continues.

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