This medical video looks into the specialist nature of the mask used for burn patients.
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Jennifer Matthews: It was a day Charles Kraushaar cannot forget. An explosion from a gas leak left him with third-degree burns over 60 percent of his body. Charles Kraushaar: I really shouldn't have survived the extensive burn. Jennifer Matthews: These pictures show just how severe the burns were. Not only did they change his appearance, the facial burns were so debilitating Charles could barely open his eyes or mouth. Charles Kraushaar: I couldn't take a bite out of a sandwich. Jennifer Matthews: To help with everyday functions, Charles went through extensive therapy and was fitted with a new type of mask. Dr. Michelle Swatski Ober: It provides pressure to those areas that will therefore cause those scars to become more pliable to allow you to open your mouth and close your eyes. Jennifer Matthews: For years, face masks were made by pouring a molding material on the patient's face while they remained still for 45 minutes. Now, therapists do it with a laser. Dr. Michelle Swatski Ober: The person sits in the chair and a scanner goes around them. Jennifer Matthews: The result is a protective mask -- a precise representation of the patient's facial contours. That's critical for healing and comfort because it has to be worn 23 hours a day for at least one year. Now Charles can do things most people take for granted. Charles Kraushaar: To me, a productive life is opening my eyes in the morning seeing the birds outside singing. Jennifer Matthews: He says that's something worth getting up for every day. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.