Each year, thousands of children suffer burn-related accidents from one of the greatest hazards of childhood.
In the 1960s, recognizing the lack of medical expertise in the burn care field, the Shrine of North America opened three Shriners Hospitals with the three-fold purpose of treating severely burned children; conducting research and improving methods of burn treatment; and training and educating medical personnel in the care and treatment of burn injuries. In 1997, a new Shriners Hospital opened in Sacramento, Calif., providing burn treatment in addition to orthopedic and spinal cord injury care.
Today, Shriners Hospitals remain pioneers in burn treatment and provide excellent medical care to severely burned children. These institutes are actively involved in research, and many of the advances in burn care have been the result of Shrine investigations. Since the Shriners Hospitals specializing in burn care first opened, the survival rate for children with burns over 50 percent of their total body surface area has doubled. Today, these specialized hospitals are saving the lives of children with burns over more than 90 percent of body surface area.
This impressive survival rate has been achieved through today’s improved surgical procedures, medical technology and the coordinated efforts of many hospital staff members.
The Shriners Hospitals in Boston, Cincinnati, Galveston and Sacramento are staffed and equipped to treat children with acute, fresh burns; children needing plastic reconstructive or restorative surgery as a result of healed burns; children with severe scarring, resulting in contractures or interference with proper movement of the limbs; and patients with scarring and deformity of the face.
In addition to offering a wide range of specialized medical and rehabilitation services, Shriners Hospitals use a family-centered treatment approach that provides multiple benefits for the patients. This philosophy stresses that while medicine might heal the child’s body, tending to the child’s sense of well-being is equally important to his recovery.
The treatment of burn injuries has advanced so dramatically in the past three decades that the Shriners Hospitals are now routinely saving the lives of patients who, in the past, almost certainly would have died. However, now that their medical needs can be met, these burn injury survivors face another challenge: that of returning to normal life in a society that places tremendous emphasis on physical appearance.
The burn care professionals at Shriners Hospitals have turned their attention to helping these patients function more normally in society. Some of the special programs that have been developed to address this need are the Reentry Program, Make-up Clinics, and Camp Ability.
ADMISSION PROCEDURES FOR THE BURN HOSPITALS
The sooner a burned child reaches a Shriners Hospital that specializes in burn treatment, the better his chances of recovery. IN AN EMERGENCY, the referring physician treating a burned child should telephone the chief of staff at the Shriners Hospital in Boston, Cincinnati, Galveston or Sacramento and indicate that he has a patient needing emergency medical care.
The telephone numbers for emergency admissions to the burn Shriners hospitals are: