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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-2

A journey of a thousand miles……… !

Editor-in-chief, India

Date of Web Publication13-May-2013

Correspondence Address:
Vinita Puri
Department of Plastic, Reconstructive Surgery and Burns, Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Parel, Mumbai - 400 012, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-653X.111770

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How to cite this article:
Puri V. A journey of a thousand miles……… !. Indian J Burns 2012;20:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Puri V. A journey of a thousand miles……… !. Indian J Burns [serial online] 2012 [cited 2023 Jun 8];20:1-2. Available from: https://www.ijburns.com/text.asp?2012/20/1/1/111770

Lao Tzu's profound words "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" seems very apt as a new editorial team is handed the reins of the journal. Unbounded enthusiasm and numerous new ideas intermittently tempered by doubts regarding the enormity of the responsibility that we have accepted have played an equal part as we take these first steps.

The 1 st issue of the Indian Journal of Burns was released in 1993. Two decades down the line our journal has grown with the times and is now in sync with the digital era. Since November 2012 the journal is online with the archives too accessible online. The ability to upload and view videos linked to the article also helps enhance the journal's appeal. Through this portal we can showcase our work to the world. This is further aided by an open access policy which makes it freely accessible to all. If we are to make our journal world class we need to submit our best work to our journal.

The new cover designed after extensive brainstorming by the designers and the editorial team shows fire engulfed in a drop of water. This signifies our desire and ability to control fire, which if unfettered can ravage human life.

Burn care in our country is at a crossroad even now. We have to make huge efforts to catch up with the rest of the world. The fact that we are the best in the world when it comes to managing post burn contractures only highlights the sad truth that our acute care continues to be decades behind the rest of the world. Early excision is par for the course in all developed nations and with our "burn load" we need to make an extra effort to fall in line with the standard of care worldwide. In the words of John Maynard Keynes "The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones." It is us Burn Surgeons (whether General or Plastic) who are resistant to early excision and have a huge list of reasons for not going ahead with it. But, where there is a will there is a way. One small step at a time will help us scale this intimidating ladder eventually reaching our ultimate goal. Each of us can promise ourselves to go the extra mile to start excising at least the lesser burns (<40% TBSA). We may not dramatically change mortality, but we would surely decrease the days of stay and morbidity. It would have a huge impact on the socioeconomic stability of the patient's family and would also provide valuable "inpatient beds" to the next victim.

"Registry" is another subject where we need to pull up our socks. In our country of 1.2 billion where fire is part of our daily life we are completely clueless of the burn load of our nation. How can prevention strategies work if we do not have an idea of how large our enemy is and what we have to target? How do we go about this mind boggling task of registry: Do we make burns notifiable (like maternal mortality), do we have a standard format or proforma for all inpatient cases all over the country, who will be responsible for data collation, what about minor burns treated by the family physicians? This is a gargantuan task needing a think tank backed by a task-force to devise a viable solution to collect and collate data from all nooks and corners of our country. We could also explore the option of riding piggy back on an already existing government network, like the national leprosy program for data collection.

NABI can play a pivotal role in both these issues. Formulating guidelines for referral of all burn patients to recognised burn centers will help decrease the morbidity of contractures. Though there are many who treat and manage burns, setting up of national guidelines will help prevent the heart wrenching sight of patients who survive large surface area burns only to be left to battle with horrific contractures and deformities. The time has come for us to have Standard Operating Procedure's (SOPs) for acute care and rehabilitation on the NABI website.

As far as the Burn Registry is concerned, if all members of NABI report every case of burns which presents to them, it would at least be a stepping stone to determining our "Burn load."

This issue, the first by the new editorial team, has articles that encompass most aspects of burn care- epidemiology, acute care, infection, psychological aspects, electrical burns, splints, socio-economic impact of burns, and prevention strategies. The section on "Guru Speak" has Dr. Gupta's vast knowledge and experience on burn care headed under Ten Commandments of Burn Care.

Whether you are reading this leisurely as a hard copy at your desk or snatching glimpses on your android phone or hand held device as you rush about your busy schedule, I hope you enjoy the academic ride. I urge all burn care professionals in the Indian sub continent to submit their best work to the Indian Journal of Burns and join us in helping to making our journal world class.


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