From The Medical Director - A Unique Perspective
Fred Mullins, MD
Josesph M. Still Burn Center
Providing care to a burn patient is challenging and requires competent healthcare providers. Providing care to a pediatric burn patient, however, presents a unique set of challenges that requires exceptional skill and tremendous experience to ensure the best possible outcome.
Each year approximately 3,000 burn patients come through the doors of our burn center, which is double that of other large burn centers in the country. Approximately one-third of our patients are children and of those, at least 10 percent are critically ill and require intensive care.
Some pediatric burns are purely accidental, from hot irons, stovetops, hot liquids, or residential fires. Others, however, are the sad reality of child abuse.
Scald burns are a common type of burn among children up to 3 or 4 years of age. This can be the result of being exposed to hot bath water, soup, oatmeal – any extremely hot substance that they can touch or that can spill onto them.
Toddlers are most susceptible to hand burns because they are learning, crawling, climbing and very much oriented towards touching and seeing. Once a child reaches age five, we are more likely to see burns resulting from campfires, matches, candles and other things of that nature. Among young teens, we’re likely to see burns resulting from fires such as adding fuel to an existing fire, firecrackers, and the like.
In this issue, we will focus on all aspects of pediatric burn care management. You will learn about how to react to potential child abuse burns and how to prevent accidental burns in children. You’ll also gain an understanding of the approaches we use in therapy, nutrition and scar management when treating a child with severe burns.
Because we treat almost ten-fold more pediatric burn patients than most burn centers in the United States, and have extensive experience with those requiring intensive care, I’m proud to say that our burn care team has established a reputation of being more than competent – we’re the experts on pediatric burn care management.
The circumstances that form that basis for our particular expertise are misfortunate. We are humbled by the fact that parents and guardians trust us to help their children recover from their burn injuries and feel privileged to be able to share our knowledge and expertise with you.
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