Children who suffer from severe burns often have long-term effects, including a decrease in cardiopulmonary function that lasts up to 2 years after the initial burn. To help these children regain their ability to function, rehabilitation specialists often develop individualized exercise programs tailored to the specific child and then follow the child’s progress closely.
Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) is an indicator used to develop individualized exercise programs and then follow the child’s progress. However, calculating VO2 peak for the individual patient requires expensive equipment and a relatively high technical skill level.
Using funding from the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch, researchers developed a simple mathematical formula for estimating VO2 peak in burned children. Using only a treadmill and easily gathered information, they were able to accurately estimate VO2 in these children.
The formula can improve rehabilitation specialists’ ability to assess fitness and track progress for children with severe burns, and reduce the need for expensive equipment and testing (PMID: 21316155).