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Proceedings Paper

Burn-depth estimation using thermal excitation and imaging
Author(s): Fred M. Dickey; Scott C. Holswade; Mark L. Yee
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Paper Abstract

Accurate estimation of the depth of partial-thickness burns and the early prediction of a need for surgical intervention are difficult. A non-invasive technique utilizing the difference in thermal relaxation time between burned and normal skin may be useful in this regard. In practice, a thermal camera would record the skin's response to heating or cooling by a small amount--roughly 5 degree(s) Celsius for a short duration. The thermal stimulus would be provided by a heat lamp, hot or cold air, or other means. Processing of the thermal transients would reveal areas that returned to equilibrium at different rates, which should correspond to different burn depths. In deeper thickness burns, the outside layer of skin is further removed from the constant- temperature region maintained through blood flow. Deeper thickness areas should thus return to equilibrium more slowly than other areas. Since the technique only records changes in the skin's temperature, it is not sensitive to room temperature, the burn's location, or the state of the patient. Preliminary results are presented for analysis of a simulated burn, formed by applying a patch of biosynthetic wound dressing on top of normal skin tissue.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 July 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3595, Biomedical Diagnostic, Guidance, and Surgical-Assist Systems, (9 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.351533
Show Author Affiliations
Fred M. Dickey, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Scott C. Holswade, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Mark L. Yee, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3595:
Biomedical Diagnostic, Guidance, and Surgical-Assist Systems
Tuan Vo-Dinh; Warren S. Grundfest; David A. Benaron; Steven T. Charles; Richard D. Bucholz; Michael W. Vannier, Editor(s)

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