Innovations in the treatment of serious burns over the past few decades have greatly improved survival percentages and quality of life for burn patients. There are more than 100 specialized burn treatment centers in the United States. Those centers treat an average of 200 burn patients a year while other hospitals treat an average of less than five burn patients per year.

Requirements for admission to a burn center

Admission to a specialized burn treatment center depends on a number of factors. However, more than half of all admissions to burn treatment centers are for burns that involve less than 10% of the total body surface area. The American Burn Association recommends that patients who have the following types of burn injuries be referred to a hospital with a specialized burn unit:

1) Partial thickness burns greater than 10% of total body surface area
2) Burns that involve the face, hands, feet, genitalia, or major joints
3) Full thickness burns
4) Electrical burns, including lightning injury
5) Chemical burns
6) Inhalation injury (injury from inhaling smoke or chemicals)
7) Burn injury in patients with medical conditions that could prolong recovery or complicate management
8) Patients with both a burn injury and another injury (such as a fracture) in which the burn injury is the more serious injury
9) Children who are in hospitals without a specialized pediatric unit
10) Patients who will require special social, emotional, or long-term rehabilitation

Click here for a list of burn centers in the United States.

Links to further information

The American Burn Association website has some good links to other websites.