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Clinical management of electrical burns in the developing world: a case of electrical burn injury left untreated leading to amputation


We discuss the case of a 26-year-old male patient from Northern Samar, the Philippines who was left without essential health services after the amputation of all four limbs following a high voltage (20 000 volts) injury in Metro Manila in 2011. Local health services in the developing world are faced with enormous challenges in providing first-line care for burn patients. The cost of maintaining a burn unit, finding suitable qualified staff, and appropriate referral mechanisms are only some of the challenges faced. Once a patient is discharged from hospital they face more obstacles in obtaining artificial limbs, physiotherapy and access to mental health services. Disability pensions are non-existent thus patients place a considerable lifelong burden on their families.

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