The premise and promise of the burn center has been to never turn away a patient in need of specialized burn care. BRCA/JMS is unique in many ways, including treating both children and adults to the comprehensive circle of care offered by our medical professionals.
At BRCA/JMS, the treatment of patients goes beyond their physical burns and wounds. From the expertise of critical care and pediatric intensivists to the consultation of staff psychiatrists, we truly treat the entire patient. We understand that even a small burn can be catastrophic to entire families, and we work hard to lessen the lasting impact of such injuries.
The acute care is often followed by reconstruction as burn scars can be restricting and interfere with a patients lifestyle. This is often a long process requiring years of reconstructive procedures. Therefore, we have a great opportunity to know our patients and connect with them on a level unlike many other specialties.
Many burn centers focus on the acute injury and once the patient is healed refer them to other surgeons to perform their reconstruction. It has been our experience that having the intimate knowledge of what the patient went through in the initial stages helps us to optimize their reconstructive efforts.
TREATING BURNS AT HOME
Most burns occur at home or work, and the proper response is important both to helping the patient and ensuring proper treatment of the injury.
First, stop the burning process by removing the source of the burn. However, do not endanger yourself. For example, do not try to grab a live electrical wire.
The next step is to remove any jewelry or clothing around the burned area. This will help prevent further damage if swelling occurs. If clothing is stuck to the burn site, do not peel it off. Instead, contact emergency services immediately.
For initial treatment of minor burns, run cool tap water over the burn for at least 20 minutes. For more severe burns, seek medical treatment immediately.
Do not apply butter, grease, honey or powder
Do not use cotton balls or wool to clean a burn
Do not apply ice directly to the burn
Cover the burn with a dry, sterile cloth
Use ibuprofen for pain management
IDENTIFYING SEVERITY OF BURNS
Red and painful with no blistering of skin, such as a minor sunburn
Red and painful with blistering – sometimes significantly blistering – of skin. Injuries will maintain a wet appearance.
Injuries have charred appearance, and will be dry to touch. They will have a leathery or white appearance, and be insensate. Treatment of injury will require skin grafting.
Injuries will be catastrophic, involve muscle, tendon and bone, and most often require amputation as treatment.
Transfer criteria recommended by the American Burn Association:
- Partial thickness burn greater than or equal to 10% TBSA
- Any burn involving the face, hands, feet, genitalia or major joint
- Any third degree burn
- Chemical burn injury
- Electrical burn injury
- Inhalation injury
- Burn injury in patients with pre-existing medical disorders
- Burns involving concomitant trauma in which the burn injury poses the greater risk
- Burned children in hospitals without qualified personnel or equipment for the care of children
- Burn injury in patients who will require special social, emotional, or long-term rehab
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