Most Missouri or Illinois residents know that suffering through horrific burn injuries can be devastating for victims themselves, but many people underestimate just how difficult it can be for family members and caregivers. In fact, studies show that burn patients’ families experience a high degree of psychological trauma themselves. This is especially the case for parents who must witness the often painful treatment that young burn victims must endure as they go through the long healing process.
One study conducted by a university in Australia discovered that 25 percent of the parents who participated showed signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Further, at least 20 percent of the parents suffered from a high degree of anxiety, and an equal number of medical care providers displayed signs of suffering psychological distress.
This may not surprise Missouri or Illinois residents who have ever had to watch children recover from painful burn injuries. While the highest level of physical and emotional pain is undoubtedly suffered by the victims themselves, it can also be traumatic for parents to watch children undergo painful procedures like having their dressings changed. Seeing the children suffering from distress related to the pain they are enduring can cause understandable psychological issues in those who are trying to care for or comfort them.
Many parents find themselves dealing with emotions like anger and guilt, even if the burn injuries occurred through no fault of their own. One mother of a son who suffered a burn injury to his foot in a motorcycle accident when he was 12 said she struggled with “huge” feelings of guilt due to her fear that he wouldn’t be able to return to the way he was before the crash, and that he would likely bear a scar for the rest of his life. She said that was only compounded by having to witness the pain he had to endure and the surgeries he underwent over his weeks and weeks in the hospital.
The doctor who was at the heart of the Australian university study stresses that one of the most important discoveries of this study is that those parents who receive the highest level of support services report the lowest amounts of anxiety and stress. She stated that providing support services to burn patients and their families can lead to more positive psychological results for all involved.
Dr. Fiona Wood, another Australian medical professional who focuses on treating burn injuries, has echoed the importance of this finding.
She stresses that the advances in treating the physical wounds from burn injuries are amazing, but that the importance of treating the psychological damage they cause should not be underestimated. “[T]he scars that are worn for life are not always visible… There are a lot of competing problems for our attention, but at the bottom of that pile is the psychological response, and we can’t ignore it.”
St. Louis personal injury attorneys who are experienced in working with burn injury victims and burn patients’ families know just how important it can be for everyone to have access to psychological support services. We can help our clients obtain the counseling or other services they need. Additionally, we offer free initial consultations to burn injury victims and their families to discuss the merits of their cases. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, clients owe us nothing until — and only if — we successfully collect money on their behalves. Please call us as soon as possible at 1-888-586-7041 to arrange an initial meeting in order to find out whether we might be able to help you and your family obtain the help and financial restitution you need.
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Source Article: “Burns patients’ families can also experience psychological trauma, research finds” by Rebecca Dollery.