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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1989-2055versión impresa ISSN 0376-7892


GUERRERO-SERRANO, L.. 20th Anniversary - Skin to be Reborn Burn Foundation. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2015, vol.41, n.1, pp.107-113. ISSN 1989-2055.

In Colombia, patients having suffered acute burns are handled by the Health System. However, independently of whether they have health insurance or not, once they are out of the hospital, they don't get the necessary attention needed to ensure their full rehab. The Colombian companies that provide health care receive a fixed share of money per affiliated user. Regrettably, they twist to their benefit what's intended to be a mandatory health support structure regulation, and therefore, in order to maximize their profit, they tend to limit as much as possible each patient's expenses. Whenever they are forced to provide health services, the attention provided is rarely well-timed, continuous or of good quality. Most of the time, in order to benefit from the needed medical service, patients need to appeal to legal action to force the hand of these health providers, or they stay are otherwise deprived of the required treatments, drugs, medical attention and follow-up. This chronic social injustice was the main reason why, 20 years ago, 7 health care professionals who used to work at the Burn Unit of the Simon Bolivar's Hospital in Bogota, decided to get organized and created a foundation which would allow them to provide to the needy burn patients, the high quality medical treatments and psychological support they required in their long journey to a healthy recovery once they were discharged from the hospital. The Burn Foundation was then born. In a brief period of time, its services evolved from simply supplying the burn patients it targeted the specialized pressure garments, silicone, sunscreen cream critical to their healing process, to laying the foundations of a robust rehab structure enhanced by physicians from different areas: Plastic Surgery, Physiotherapy, Psychology and Social Work, which hasn't stopped evolving and refining itself since. Shortly after it opened its doors to its burnt public, the Burn Foundation set in motion Colombia's first Skin Bank. Today the Foundation counts with its own headquarters, has a built a reputation as a serious reference for non-acute burn patients treatment and recovery, and has managed to establish multiple agreements with both national and international organizations that allow it to take care in a highquality, timely and efficient fashion of a continuously growing number of patients with burn scars and its associated traumas. Down from the beginning, one of the Burn Foundation's main goals has been to demonstrate that a plastic surgeon, a privileged citizen who has had access to a specialized education and who sometimes takes for granted countless job opportunities, has a share of social responsibility. He/she can and should not restrain his/her efforts in order to support the most vulnerable fraction of the population, that percentage which doesn't have the means to insurance its basic wellbeing. This highly trained professional should offer the best of his/her knowledge as a plastic surgeon to: help reconstruct the scars of burn patients and lead the multidisciplinary team in charge of handling the complex healing process, providing the necessary assistance to overcome the psychological trauma derived from the burn accident, and guiding both, the patient and his/her family, through the path of social reintegration.

Palabras clave : Burns; Burn sequelae; Burn rehabilitation; Skin bank; Social work.

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