On Saturday, 04 November 2017, the Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital accepted the donation of a brand new Lumenis M22 laser from The Phoenix Burns Project, supported by the ABC Charity Challenge Hike and Bike fund raiser events in 2016 and 2017.
This laser will complement the existing Ultrapulse CO2 laser to offer the full range of laser scar treatment capabilities of the RCWMCH burns unit, making it the only burns unit in Africa to offer this life-changing therapy.
Where the Ultrapulse is used on scars typically a year old, targeting water in the tissue, the new M22 laser targets haemoglobin in the blood. The M22 laser energy is preferentially used in early vascular scars, rich in tiny blood vessels and therefore haemoglobin, thus destroying the tiny blood vessels in the scar without causing damage to the surrounding tissue.
It can be used as early as 4-6 weeks after the burn whilst reducing the problematic burn scar itching that causes intense frustration, sleep deprivation and that requires multiple medications to control. The M22 laser also offers hope to children with vascular malformations and disfiguring port wine stains, various eye conditions and dermatological conditions.
For the first time, children are asking to come back to the unit for more treatment as they can see the changes much sooner.
Special thanks to all the Phoenix partners, each and every ABC Challenge Hiker and Biker, Cripps Sears & Partners, Phoenix Flyers, Woodside, Total Oil, Schlumberger, Wood Mackenzie and the European Burn Association.