Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

3-D Computer Display Brings Precision To Burn Assessment

Date:
October 18, 1997
Source:
University of Chicago Medical Center
Summary:
An easy-to-use, 3-D, computer graphics program -- to be presented October 16th at the American College of Surgeons' Clinical Conference in Chicago -- is bringing a new level of accuracy, consistency and standardization to the evaluation of burn patients, resulting in more precise treatment plans and evaluation of new therapies.

An easy-to-use, three-dimensional, computer graphics program is bringing a newlevel of accuracy, consistency and standardization to the evaluation of burnpatients, which should result in more precise treatment plans and betterevaluation of new therapies. The program will be presented October 16th at theAmerican College of Surgeons' Clinical Conferene in Chicago.

Related Articles


The software, developed by a team of researchers at the University of ChicagoHospitals' Burn Center, replaces the standard two-dimensional hand-drawn chartsof a patient's wounds with a morphable 3-D computer body image. Using a mouseor graphic tablet, instead of pencil on paper, the nurse or physician canadjust the diagram to match the contours of the patient's body, chart the extentand depth of the burn wounds as seen from any angle, compute the percentage oftotal-body-surface area burned, which facilitates treatment.

"The computer program is more accurate and far more consistent than the standardsystem for determining burn surface area, especially for moderate burns, whereprecise information can make the most difference," said team leader Raphael Lee,M.D., Ph.D., professor of surgery and medical director of the Burn Center at theUniversity of Chicago Hospitals.

Accurate assessment is a crucial early step in treatment planning. The size anddepth of burn wounds are the most important predictors of clinical outcome. The percentage of body surface area affected is used to calculate the patient'sfluid and nutritional needs-which can be enormous for those with severe burns. The initial assessment is also used as a benchmark to monitor a patient'sprogress and as a research tool to compare effects of different treatments.

But burn centers have long had to rely on the doctor's pencil drawings on papercharts, known as Lund-Browder diagrams, which show a standard male or femalebody, child or adult, from the front and back. Rough percentages for each bodypart are listed: for example 13 percent for the entire trunk or back, 9.5percent for one arm, 7 percent for an adult's head or 11 percent for a child's.

Reliance on these two-dimensional charts results in wide variation in assessmentof identical injuries by different professionals. Burns near the sides are lessapparent on the charts and are often underestimated, while those right in frontcan be overemphasized. And a patient's body rarely mirrors the idealized formson the standard charts.

The computer, using software originally developed for architects, allows theburn team to begin assessment on a frame, assembled from 10,000 tiny triangles,that closely resembles the patient. After keying in sex, height and weight, thephysician can manually adjust the resulting image to pull out a bigger abdomen,for example, or shrink the shoulders to match the burned patient's physique.

The burns are then drawn directly onto the rotatable 3-D computer diagram with aresolution of 0.01%. On the display, different colors indicate different wounddepths: yellow for superficial, red for deep-partial thickness or brown forfull-thickness burns. Then the program computes the percentage of body surfacearea affected as well as fluid and nutritional requirements.

Users can factor in other injuries or treatments that affect the patient'smetabolism, such as smoke inhalation or placement on a ventilator. The computerprogram automatically adjusts for these variables and then calculatesnutritional requirements. The computer is also able to zoom. Body parts can bedisplayed separately or magnified for accuracy. Wound diagrams can be updatedand compared as treatment progresses. Skin grafts, biological dressings anddonor sites (which become partial-thickness wounds), can be included in thediagram.

Studies comparing the computer with standard burn assessment found that thecomputer is much more reliable and consistent than the standard system,particularly for larger burns.

In an initial trial, using a mannequin painted with burn wounds, six nurse orphysician observers rated the wounds using Lund-Browder charts and the computer. The computer was significantly more accurate and, for large burns, produced onefifth the amount of variation between observers.

Subsequent tests with real patients in the University of Chicago Burn Unit haveconfirmed the computer's accuracy as well as the willingness of nurses andphysicians to use the program despite the time constraints of the clinicalsetting. The program requires few keyboard commands. Most functions arecontrolled by a mouse and simple pull-down menus.

"Accuracy is crucial for treating the patient," said Lee, "but consistency isessential for conducting research and communicating new findings. We hope thatby gathering better information at the beginning of treatment, we can improveour ability to evaluate outcomes and perhaps speed the development of newtherapies."

The research was sponsored by the Electric Power Research Institute, which willdistribute the software to burn centers.

Also involved in developing and testing the software were programmers David Tuch(now in graduate school at M.I.T.), Patrick Jacobsen and Gregory Kicska;burn-unit fellows Mahesh Mankani, M.D. (now in private practice in Washington,D.C.), and William Brownlee, M.D. (now at Cook County Hospital); burn-unitnurses Tina Tinnin, R.N., M.S.N., Alison Boddie, R.N., B.S.N., and AnnemarieO'Connor, R.N., B.S.N.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Medical Center. "3-D Computer Display Brings Precision To Burn Assessment." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 October 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971017065158.htm>.
University of Chicago Medical Center. (1997, October 18). 3-D Computer Display Brings Precision To Burn Assessment. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971017065158.htm
University of Chicago Medical Center. "3-D Computer Display Brings Precision To Burn Assessment." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/10/971017065158.htm (accessed November 1, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Protests Stall Hungary's Internet Tax

Protests Stall Hungary's Internet Tax

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 31, 2014) Hungary will shelve plans to introduce a tax on internet data traffic that has generated big protests over the past week. But as Amy Pollock reports the controversial issue hasn’t gone away entirely. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Samsung's Incredible Shrinking Smartphone Profits

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 30, 2014) The world's top mobile maker is under severe pressure, delivering a 60 percent drop in Q3 profit as its handset business struggles. Turning it around may not prove easy, says Reuters' Jon Gordon. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Ban On Wearable Cameras In Movie Theaters Surprises No One

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) The Motion Picture Association of America and the National Association of Theatre Owners now prohibit wearable cameras such as Google Glass. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Spain's New 'Google Tax' Makes News Feeds Pay For Links

Spain's New 'Google Tax' Makes News Feeds Pay For Links

Newsy (Oct. 30, 2014) Spanish lawmakers have passed new IP rules requiring aggregators to pay for linking to news sites, following a broader trend across the E.U. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins