Beyond the Bali Bombings – the Royal Perth Hospital Intensive Care Unit Physiotherapy 2002 burns experiences


Historically, the Royal Perth Hospital (RPH) intensive care unit (ICU) averages approximately 10 major adult burns patients per year. Following the multidisciplinary philosophy that rehabilitation commences at the time of injury, individual ICU burns admissions are very labour intensive from a physiotherapy perspective, with customised splinting, positioning, stretching and rehabilitation programs provided in conjunction with any specific respiratory physiotherapy interventions. Prior to October 12, ICU burns admissions for 2002 numbered 13 and required 215 occasions of service and 1,458 minutes of physiotherapy, representing 15.6% of their total inpatient physiotherapy services. The October 12 Bali bombings resulted in 11 ICU admissions within a 48 hour timeframe, necessitating unique management and co-ordination strategies for ICU physiotherapy services. From October 14 until December 9, 707 occasions of service and 28,485 minutes of physiotherapy were provided to 11 Bali bombing victims in ICU, representing 64.5% of their total inpatient physiotherapy services. Many lessons and skills were developed from strategies instigated to manage ICU physiotherapy services during the treatment of Bali victims. Post-Bali, RPH ICU received 10 further major burns patients with 550 occasions of service and 23570 minutes of physiotherapy treatment provided in ICU, representing 63% of their total inpatient physiotherapy services. Interestingly, these data mirror the workload data from ICU Bali bombing patients and underline the success of providing an individual treatment focus with Bali bombing patients, which has been sustained and repeated with subsequent admissions. In summary, 34 burns patients received 1,472 occasions of service and 53513 minutes of physiotherapy treatment in ICU during 2002, which represents an unheralded and unrivalled period of RPH ICU physiotherapy experiences in the field of burns management.

Patman, S., & Edgar, D. (2003). Beyond the Bali Bombings – the Royal Perth Hospital Intensive Care Unit Physiotherapy 2002 burns experiences. Australian Journal of Physiotherapy, 49(3), 20.

ISSN: 0004-9514


The Proceedings of the Australian Physiotherapy Association's 8th National Cardiothoracic Special Group Conference, 'Inspiring Innovation, Expiring Tradition' may be accessed here