Nueva Joy A. PeruchoInstitute of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, Philippines
Title: Scarred: Psychological challenges in an electrical burn survivor
Undiagnosed psychiatric disorders among burn patients can negatively impact treatment outcomes. We report a case of a 19-year-old male who suffered from electrical burn injuries involving 30% of the total body surface area. He underwent multiple surgeries including bilateral arm amputations. His recent admission was for release of contractures in the anterior chest and neck area. Patient manifested aggressive behavior in the burn unit post-operation, prompting referral to Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry service. Patient was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and was started on an antidepressant. In addition, psychological support was rendered. Psychotherapy given focused on the issues of grief, loss and acceptance of self-image, development of adaptive behaviors, enhancing family functioning, and advocating for the patient to the surgical team. Patient’s mood improved with no recurrence of aggressive behavior. Moreover, he was noted to be more cooperative with his treatment and other members of the healthcare team. This case illustrates the importance of psychiatric support alongside medical and surgical treatment for burn survivors, with emphasis on early psychiatric consultation and vigilance in screening for psychiatric conditions.
Perucho is a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Biology from University of the Philippines Visayas, (2005-2009). She took Doctor of Medicine from West Visayas State University (2009 – 2013), and proceeded for her Post Graduate Internship at the Philippine General Hospital in Metro Manila (2013-2014). While serving as a Doctors to the Barrio (A Philippine Government program to send physicians to Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Areas), she took her Masters in Public Management, Major in Health Systems Development at the Development Academy of the Philippines in Tagaytay (2014- 2016) and Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development, Major in Organizational Management at Cotabato Foundation School of Science and Technology(2016-2020). She started her residency in Psychiatry in 2020 at the Southern Philippines Medical Center - Institute of Psychiatry and Behavioral medicine, Davao City, Philippines and she is currently the Chief Resident.