The European Burns Association and the world of burn care

The European Burns Association and the world of burn care
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The European Burns Association aims to encourage the co-operation of burn care throughout Europe, here we take a look into the association and what this involves.

The European Burns Association (EBA), was founded in 1981 by leading burn specialists in europe, with the aim of encouraging co-operation in the field of burn care through the continent. According to the EBA website: “The EBA serves as a forum through which medical specialists, researchers, professions allied to medicine (PAM) and other workers come in contact to discuss aspects of burn treatment and research.

In this way, expertise and knowledge are spread throughout the countries of Europe. And has been established as a non-profit making organisation for the benefit of the public, to promote burn prevention, to study the prevention of burn injury and all other aspects of burn treatment.”

Burns can be classified over four categories:

First-degree burns (superficial)

These forms of burns “affect only the outer layer of skin, the epidermis. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Mild sunburn is an example. Long-term tissue damage is rare and often consists of an increase or decrease in the skin colour.”

Second degree burns (partial thickness)

Compared to first-degree burns, second degree burns “involve the epidermis and part of the lower layer of skin, the dermis. The burn site looks red, blistered, and may be swollen and painful.”

Third degree burns (full thickness)

Unlike the first- and second-degree burns, third degree burns “destroy the epidermis and dermis. They may go into the innermost layer of skin, the subcutaneous tissue. The burn site may look white or blackened and charred.”

Fourth degree burns

Fourth degree burns are arguably the worst form of burns. They are described to “go through both layers of the skin and underlying tissue as well as deeper tissue, possibly involving muscle and bone. There is no feeling in the area since the nerve endings are destroyed.”

EBA’s burn verification programme

One of the programmes by EBA, is the ‘Verification of burn centres’. “It is an evaluation programme designed to verify a burn centre’s resources that are required for the provision of optimal care to burn patients from the time of injury through rehabilitation.

“Elements of this voluntary program include an application, self-assessment questionnaire, an on-site evaluation by members of the EBA Certification Committee. A written report of the site visit team is reviewed by the EBA Certification Committee.

Burn Centre verification provides a true mark of distinction for a burn centre. It is an indicator to government, third-party payers, patients and their families, and verification organisations that the centre provides high quality patient care and meets the demanding standards for organisational structure, personnel qualifications, facilities, resources and medical care services.”

The verification process takes around two to six months, and consists of the following steps:

  1. Information request;
  2. Application;
  3. Self-Assessment form and settle a date for visit;
  4. Review Self-Assessment form;
  5. Visit Burn Centre;
  6. Post-Visit;
  7. and Certificate.

The EBA congress in Helsinki

In 2019 the 19th European Burn Association´s congress will be held in Helsinki, Finland4. According to the EBA’s Congress President, Jyrki Vuola: “One of the main purposes of this meeting is to connect with fellow burn professionals involved in all branches of burn care. This will be one of our main focuses during the meeting that will naturally also cover all fields of burn treatment.”

Moreover, EBA President, Jauan P Barret, in his most recent letter said: “The Executive Committee met at the beginning of April in Helsinki. During this meeting all committee members had the opportunity to visit the venues and go through all preparations with Congress president and ExCo member Dr Jyrki Vuola.

“The program warrants an outstanding educational congress with excellent opportunities to interact. More than 300 abstracts have been received with a high quality overall. I encourage all EBA membership and other colleagues and friends to join EBA in Helsinki to make it the best ever congress.

“[…] During the congress, the new version of the EBA Guidelines will be presented by the Guidelines Committee, chaired by our Italian ExCo Member Dr. Nadia Depetris. Intensive work is still to be done in future versions, in special in the PAM section where standardisation shall be necessary. PAM Chair Teresa Tredoux shall update all membership during the General Assembly about all PAM issues.”

The Disaster Committee and the EBA journal

“The Disaster Committee has been meeting regularly and important steps forward have been achieved. The information regarding the current status, the intense relationship with the European Commission and the next steps for the near future shall be presented during the General Assembly by Committee chair Dr Stian Almeland and a special session during the congress. The Burn centre Accreditation is a relevant factor in this process. Two new centres have been accredited, although more accredited centres, especially in eastern countries are necessary.

“Another focus of attention during the past year has been the development of our own EBA journal. Contacts have been made with different publishers in order to oversee the different options available. However, following the open access movement, and publishers and European experts advice, any future journal project shall follow the open access initiative. A final agreement has been reached with the publisher MDPI, and our new journal the ‘European Journal for Burn Care’ will be presented during the Congress in Helsinki.”



Please note, this article will appear in issue 10 of Health Europa Quarterly, which is available to read now.

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