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Ann Burns Fire Disasters. 2014 Dec 31;27(4):184-91.

How important is hydrotherapy? Effects of dynamic action of hot spring water as a rehabilitative treatment for burn patients in Switzerland.

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Plastic, Reconstructive & Hand Surgery, Unit of Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Pediatric Surgery, University Hospital of Lausanne, Switzerland.
Lavey Medical Center, Lavey-les-Bains, Switzerland.


in English, French

Burn rehabilitation using hydrotherapy can have multiple benefits for the burn patient. The therapy uses specific mineral enriched hot spring water and water jets with varied hydro-pressure to combat hypertrophy, inflammatory reaction signs, abnormal pigmentation, and, more specifically, redness and scarring. Standard operating procedures for burn rehabilitation have been developed and integrated into the Standard of Care at the CHUV hospital using localized hydro-mechanical stimulation of burn sites (20 minutes of alternating anatomical sites) followed by constant pressure large-bore and filiform showers targeting specific scarred areas. These therapeutic regimens are repeated daily for 2 to 3 weeks. Patients showed lasting effects from this regimen (up to 3-6 months), the results becoming permanent with more uniform skin structure, color and visco-elasticity in addition to a decrease in pruritus. The specifications of clinical protocols are described herein along with the virtues of hot spring hydro-pressure therapy for burn rehabilitation. The use of hydrotherapy, which has been a controversial topic among burn units across the world, is also discussed. In North America, hydrotherapy is defined only within the scope of in-patient wound cleansing and is thought to lead to microbial auto-contamination and bacterial resistance. In Switzerland and France the emphasis of hydrotherapy is on rehabilitation after the wound has closed.


Hydro-Pressure Therapy (HPT); burn rehabilitation; hot springs; hydrotherapy; mechanical-stimulation; scar management


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