Dr. Cartie with patient

Dr. Cartie is board-certified in Pediatrics and Pediatric Critical Care

Pediatric care has come a long way. Scores of children’s hospitals now exist to tend to the special needs of pediatric patients and they are thriving. A key contributor to this kind of specialization has been the evolution of pediatrics into numerous pediatric subspecialties.

Consider pediatric intensivists. These subspecialists care for critically ill and injured infants and children. Typically they’re only found at children’s hospitals and large medical centers with pediatric intensive care units (PICUs). The fact that you can find such a specialist at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center at Doctors Hospital is impressive in and of itself. However, when you consider that elsewhere, burn care pediatric intensivists also provide medical coverage in the hospital’s PICU, the presence of a full time pediatric intensivist at the burn center alone places the center in a league of its own.

“It’s not likely you’ll find a full time burn care pediatric intensivist anywhere else,” says Dr. Richard Cartie who is board certified in pediatrics and pediatric critical care medicine. Cartie came to the burn center five years ago from Palmettto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, South Carolina.

“The reason I’m able to devote my entire practice to pediatric burn patients is the sheer volume of such patients that we see here,” Cartie says. He explains that 100 or more children who are treated at the burn center each year require intensive care, adding that this number is considerably more than what any other burn care center experiences.

Cartie’s level of specialization, and that of all those on the burn center team, is unparalleled and allows them to capably handle even the most complex of cases. “Although there are some common issues that arise in all burn cases, when faced with a four-week-old burn patient, there are unique problems that are completely foreign to most trained burn care providers,” he says.

“When you’re dealing with a one-year-old with a 60 percent burn, that child’s chance of survival and recovery will be greatly improved if cared for by a team like ours that has faced those types of challenges many times.”

Cartie is accustomed to treating multiple critically injured children at the same time. In fact, at one time he was caring for three pediatric inpatients, ranging in age from two to 13, with surface area burns between 75 and 90 percent.

“If you look at any other pediatric subspecialty and the centers that do that—pediatric cardiac surgery, for example—one of them emerges as the best,” Cartie says, explaining that the volume of complicated cases handled is directly proportionate to the level of expertise. “The more you do, the better you are and the better the survival rate for those patients. I see no reason why pediatric burn care management is any different.”