Infrared imaging of burn wounds to determine burn depth

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Determination of burn wound depth is at present left to the surgeons visual examination. Many burn wounds are obviously, by visual inspection, superficial 2° burns or true 3° burns. However, those burn wounds that fall between the obvious depth burns are difficult to assess visually, and therefore wound depth determination often requires waiting 5 to 7 days postburn. Initially, 10 burn patients underwent infrared imaging at various times during the evaluation of their burn wounds. These patients were followed to either healing or skin grafting. The infrared images were then reviewed to determine their accuracy in determining the depth of the wound. Infrared imaging of burn wounds with focal plane staring array midrange infrared systems appears promising in determination of burn depth one to two days postburn. This will allow clinical decisions regarding operative or nonoperative intervention to be made earlier, thus decreasing hospital stays and time to healing.

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Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering

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