In the field of burn care, subjective and empiric observations have a substantial place in current practice. The reason for this is that major burns now are relatively uncommon, and that results of genue medical research are scarce. It leads to personal experience totally dominating the practice and philosophies.
Now, practice guidelines have entered the scene. It is recommendations for management of medical problems illustrated by objective studies, trying to define optimal treatment, which at the same time is most cost-effective.
In the acceptance that the society cannot afford unrestricted medical care, a certain objectivity in medicine has appeared. The limited health care resources must give us as much as possible. It could be that old traditional empiric medicine should be compared to a more evidence-based medicine. What are centuries-old traditions and what are randomised controlled clinical trials and can we combine those to safe guidelines in our field, burn care.
Some countries in Europe have now developed their own guidelines for burn care. Perhaps a combination of these guidelines could lead to a distillation of knowledge resulting in an extremely useful summery for burn care in Europe.
What is to be done, and as important, what is not to be done in modern burn care?
So, if the major burn centres in Europe could exchange knowledge on definitions, standards and guidelines a substantial step forward might be the result. Take the discussion on:
What is a major burn centre?
How should it be equipped?
What type of burned patients should be referred to such a unit?
Or even more simple, How do we define a second-degree burn and should it always be left to heal? And so on, there is lot of questions.
In U.S. a practice guidelines for burn care as created in 2001. It has proven to be a great help in defining several different terms and conceptions in American burn care. It certainly was an improvement of treatment.
It might be on time that Europe does the same work by an extraction of the best of current knowledge and results of present research from the different European countries.