A patient who has just suffered a severe burn is likely to have a reduced appetite. This is because of the pain that the body is experiencing and because a patient is typically sedated to help deal with it. However, research suggests that patients who have been severely burned should consume more calories to help themselves recover.
At the Comprehensive Burn Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, patients are given a feeding tube within six hours of admission. Their methods have garnered widespread recognition for its ability to help burn victims heal faster than normal. The best reason to start feeding patients in the aftermath of second- and third-degree burns is because the body's response to the burn. The liver swells to up to 200 percent of its normal size while metabolism and heart rate also increase significantly.
In its search for nutrients, the body will start to consume muscle mass if there are no more calories to burn. Patients typically lose muscle mass in their arms, legs and abdomen first. Once muscle mass is lost, it becomes harder for a patient to to exercise, fight infection or otherwise participate in rehab. Typically, it takes about 18 months for a burn to fully heal if nothing goes wrong during the recovery process.
Those who have been the victim of a serious burn injury that was caused by the negligence of another party may want to speak with an attorney to determine the recourse that may be available. If, for example, the burn was caused by a defective product, it may be advisable to seek the recovery of damages through a lawsuit filed against the manufacturer or distributor.