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​​UPMC Mercy Burn Center Information For Referring Physicians

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The UPMC Mercy Burn Center offers a wide range of care for burn patients. Whether burns result from flames, scalds, or chemical or electrical accidents, and whether or not they require complicated wound management, our team of experts has the experience and knowledge to provide the most advanced burn care available. Patients suffering from traumatic burns are cared for in the center's Intensive Care Unit until stable.

Burn Center Referral Criteria Include:

  • Partial-thickness burns of greater than 10 percent of the total body surface area
  • Burns that involve the face, hands, feet, genitalia, perineum, or major joints
  • Third-degree burns in any age group
  • Electrical burns, including lightning injury
  • Chemical burns
  • Inhalation injuries
  • Burn injuries in patients with pre-existing medical disorders that could complicate management, prolong recovery, or affect mortality
  • Burns with concomitant trauma (such as fractures) when the burn injury poses the greater risk of morbidity or mortality
  • Burn injuries in patients who will require special social, emotional, or rehabilitative intervention

Tips for Transporting a Burn Patient Include:

  • Remove the patient from source of heat and remove any loose chemicals, if applicable.
  • Protect the airway and administer supplemental oxygen if indicated.
  • Cool the burn with water or saline irrigation.
  • Keep the patient warm with blankets or dry dressings during transfer.
  • Start isotonic IV fluids, preferably Lactated Ringer's, at 150cc/hour.
  • Protect the spine if there is associated trauma or if it is an electrical injury.
  • Transport to a burn center where the patient can be quickly and appropriately treated for both trauma and burns.

Video Resources

Initial Assessment and Treatment of Thermal Injury

Dr. Jenny Ziembicki highlights the main components of treating burn injuries, including evaluating the depth and extent of burn injuries and understanding the initial treatment of burns.


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