Established in 1962, the Burn Center at Parkland Memorial Hospital is one of the largest civilian burn units in the nation. Serving North Texas and surrounding areas, it is a comprehensive burn unit that provides the newest research, technologies and products for treatment of burn-related injuries that result from flames, chemicals, electrical injuries and scalds. Parkland also provides treatment for complicated skin infections and disorders.
More than 1,200 burn victims are cared for annually at Parkland and more than 790 pediatric and adult burn patients were admitted to the hospital in 2014 for inpatient care. Patients are also seen for follow-up care in the Burn Care Outpatient Center.
Today, patients are treated in three separate areas of the hospital and outpatient clinic. But when the new Parkland opens in August, patients will receive care in a centralized 32,000 square-foot center; nearly quadruple in size from the current 8,500 square feet. In addition, the patient-centered approach to design created a more home-like healing environment with natural light and windows as well as more space for family and visitors.
“The new Burn Center will include 12 intensive care beds, 18 acute care beds, six hydrotherapy beds, a playroom for children with burn injuries and a gym area for physical and occupational therapy,” said Lou Saksen, senior vice president of New Parkland Construction. “The center also includes space for the outpatient clinic."
Having all the services located in one area will enhance patients’ continuum of care and make it easier as they transition from intensive care to acute care and then outpatient, said Christine Lane, RN, Burn Unit Manager.
“We have some patients who are with us for days, weeks and sometimes months,” Lane said. “Along with reducing the risk of infections, the private rooms in our new state-of-the-art facility will make it more comfortable for family members.”
Lane noted that because of the length of time that burn patients are typically hospitalized they and their loved ones are often looked upon as the staff’s extended family. Milestones in care and treatment are celebrated along with birthdays and holidays.
“As are all of Parkland’s patients, ours are very special to us,” Lane said. “Beyond the physical pain, our patients often have to deal with emotional trauma as well. If we can ease some of that pain then we’ve done our job."
Because of Parkland’s excellence in the field of burn medicine, patient outcomes throughout the world have improved. Thirty years ago, patients with burns covering half of their bodies saw only a 50 percent chance of survival. Now, patients sustaining burns on half of their bodies see 96 percent survival rates.
Anna Staff was just 19-months old when she was burned in an accident that left her with scars on her arm, neck and back. She was fortunate, she says, because she was treated in Parkland’s renowned Burn Center. “Exactly where we needed to be,” she said. Today, Staff is a registered nurse in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at University Medical Center in Lubbock.
Parkland’s Burn Center maintains Burn Center Verification status by meeting the criteria of the American Burn Association’s Burn Center Verification/Consultation Program. This means the center meets the highest standard of care for burn patients as approved by the American College of Surgeons.
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