Burns are characterised by significant local swelling and redness around the site of injury, indicative of acute inflammation. Whilst the inflammatory response is fundamental to the healing process, triggering a cascade of cytokines and growth factors to protect against the risk of infection, it is clear that prolonged inflammation can be detrimental and lead to scarring and fibrosis. Severe burns may display chronic, persistent inflammation long after the initial burn injury and may even result in multiple organ failure (MOF) due to systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS). Excessive inflammation in the early stages of healing has been identified as a causative factor in the formation of scars which can be disfiguring, functionally restrictive and may require revisionary surgeries. Therefore, it is imperative that inflammation is effectively managed following burn injuries in order to optimise the benefits it provides whilst actively preventing the complications of inflammation including SIRS, multiple organ failure (MOF) and the development of scarring and fibrosis. Reviewing the current knowledge about the role of the inflammatory response in burns and the treatments available for the management of inflammation during wound healing, highlights the importance of continued research into understanding and developing new approaches to regulate inflammatory responses post-burn injuries.
Part of the book: Hot Topics in Burn Injuries