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The American Burn Association has released new Guidelines on the Management of Acute Pain in the Adult Burn Patient. “The goal of these, as with all of the ABA’s work, is to improve patient outcomes. These new guidelines will be not only important to improve the daily care of our patients but to provide a template for the management of these individuals in outlying facilities prior to transfer,” said William Hickerson, MD, ABA President.

“Three years ago, after convening a two-day multi-disciplinary post-graduate course on pain management in burn patients that included perspectives from burn survivors, it became apparent that an updated set of guidelines was needed,” said Victor Joe, MD, FACS, Chair of the Organization and Delivery of Burn Care Committee (ODBC). “We hope these new guidelines help promulgate effective multi-modal treatment for acute pain. More importantly, we hope it fosters additional discussion and research so improvements in pain management can be realized in the near future.”

The guidelines developed focus on assessment of pain, pharmacologic treatment of pain (opioid and non-opioid), and non-pharmacologic treatment of pain. Given the current opioid crisis, there is a greater emphasis on non-opioid pain medications and non-pharmacologic adjuncts when compared to the previous guidelines.

“The value of these guidelines is that they serve to not only improve the care of burn patients through providing advice to providers, but they also layout the research that is needed in order for more specific recommendations to be made in the future,” said ABA OBDC Committee member and lead author Kathleen Romanowski, MD, FACS.

The Guidelines on the Management of Acute Pain in the Adult Burn Patient are available online through the Journal of Burn Care and Research (JBCR).


The American Burn Association dedicates their efforts and resources to promoting and supporting burn-related care, prevention, education, and research. Their multidisciplinary membership enhances their ability to work toward common goals with other organizations and educational programs.

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