Have you ever burned a knuckle pulling a pizza from the oven? Scalded yourself with boiling water? Multiply that 10 times, 100 times. That’s the feeling of having lost not just your skin, but the tissue beneath it. That’s the feeling of a serious third degree burn. Thankfully, most of us will never know such a burn. But if you did, we have an entire team of specialty professionals, right here in the Northland, who would know exactly what to do.
Burn patients represent the most severe kind of trauma. They need treatment in the best facilities designed specifically for burn care. More importantly they need a well– organized, multifaceted, patient-centered team – a team that can handle the wide variety of injuries associated with burn. Whether a patient is burned in a fire, becomes frost bitten or suffers from an electrical burn, Dwan Burn Center specialists offer the kind of care that is rare in our nation.
The following specialties represent the team of providers who practice in the Dwan Burn Center. The Miller-Dwan Foundation is pleased to be able to help support their efforts through the provision of state-of-the-art equipment and top-of-the line education. And we’re proud to call them our colleagues.
Burn Surgeons – While burn surgeons may come from a training background of either plastic surgery or general surgery, they’ve also acquired additional experience of burn surgery and critical care. Often, the responsibility and overall control for the care of a severely burned patient lies with the admitting burn surgeon.
Nurses – Burn nurses require a range of skills from management of acutely unwell critical-care patients on mechanical ventilation and renal support, sophisticated wound dressing techniques, to emotional support for patients and their families. Nurses on a burn critical-care unit are often the first to spot any changes in what can be a very long arduous recovery period.
Anesthesiologists – The specially-trained burn-team anesthesiologist has the knowledge and expertise to deal with specific burn challenges, from compromised airways to multiple surgeries. They provide expertise in pain control and comfort management and may assist when ventilation, fluid management and circulatory support is needed,
Respiratory Therapists – Lung injury suffered by burn patients can be severe. Coupled with a myriad of problems that can arise due to burn trauma (infection and inflammation to name a few), respiratory therapists can help reduce the risk of complications.
Occupational & Physical Therapists – Rehabilitation following severe burn injuries requires an individualized approach that includes everything from splinting and pressure garments to minimizing scaring and exercise to help patients maintain function, strength and range of movement. Considerable technical and creative skill is required to construct and adapt items and programs to match the particular needs of a patient, based on knowledge and familiarity with burn injuries.
Dietitian – Patients with major burns require intense nutritional support to address massively elevated energy and protein demands. The dietitian or nutritionist on the burn team monitors the dietary needs of the patient and provides the nutritional recommendations and feeding regimens to meet changing demands.
Psychosocial Experts – Burn injury can have a devastating impact on the emotional and psychological well-being of a patient and their families. Psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers provide expertise in assisting patients and their families to cope with the effects of the injury and come to terms with the grief and consequences of the injury.
Together this team relies heavily on timely and good communication between its members. And together, the burn team and the Miller-Dwan Foundation rely heavily on each other to assure that every patient who needs burn care, receives the very best care in the nation. From equipment like shower stretchers and comfy family room chairs to national education that addresses the rapidly ongoing advances in burn care, our region can rest assured that we’re here for you.
A gift to the Miller-Dwan Foundation designed to burn services will assure the continuation of this critical care right here in the Northland, and it will support some of the most compassionate, caring and knowledgeable clinicians we will ever know. We hope you never meet them.