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> About the Burn Center
> Referral Criteria

About the Burn Center

University Hospital has the only adult burn center in the Greater Cincinnati area and is one of only a few hospitals in the country to receive verified status as a Burn Center for a fifth consecutive time from the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association (ACS/ABA). The goal in obtaining verification of our Burn Center is to once again obtain recognition of our commitment to excellence for providing high quality care to patients with burn injuries. This is a continuing goal and is unchanged from our initial application in 1995. The surveyors stated they were impressed with the quality of our adult burn service at University Hospital including:

"Strong administrative support, excellent experienced burn team, state of the art facilities and the establishment of a Burn Walk In Center in the adult Burn Unit".

The adult Burn Center includes the Burn Special Care Unit and the Burn Walk In Center. The Burn Center team includes four attending burn surgeons, resident physicians, physician assistants, nursing staff, respiratory staff, nutrition support, rehabilitation therapists, pharmacy support, social services, chaplainry and a burn support group.

Approximately 100 acute burn inpatients are admitted to the Burn special Care Unit per year, in addition to other admissions for dermatological disease rehabilitation and reconstructive procedures. The intensive burn care program includes prehospital care and transportation, resuscitation, intensive/acute care, rehabilitation and follow-up care, as well as education, prevention and research activities in concert with the Shriner's Hospital for Children.

The Adult Special Care Unit includes nine inpatient beds with full monitoring capabilities for resuscitation and intensive burn care. Specialized equipment including a physical/occupational therapy area is located within the unit.

The burn-injured patient remains on the unit from the day of admission until the date of discharge. Follow-up, outpatient care in the burn clinic is performed by the same burn team staff that has provided care since the day of admission.

A Burn Walk In Center was established directly on the Burn Special Care Unit in June of 2002 to improve the quality of in initial burn treatment, timeliness of care and provide expert burn care to patients with minor burn injuries. The Burn Walk In Center provides immediate expert burn care to patients with minor burn injuries who are referred from University Hospital Center for Emergency Care, other community hospitals and urgent care centers. The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 7:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

The Burn Service also sees approximately 1,300 outpatients per year in the Burn Clinic.

Burn Center Referral Criteria top of page

The American Burn Association has recommended the injuries identified below as those requiring referral to a burn center following initial assessment and treatment.

  • Second-degree burns greater than 10 percent of the total body surface area (TBSA).
  • 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 injury
  • Burn injury in patients with pre-existing medical disorders that could complicate management, prolong recovery or affect mortality
  • Any patients with burns and trauma, such as fractures, in which the burn injury poses the greatest risk of disease or mortality. In such cases, if the trauma poses the greater immediate risk, the patient may be initially stabilized in a trauma center before being transferred to a burn unit. Physician judgment will be necessary in such situations and should be in concert with the regional medical control plan and triage protocols.
  • Burned children in hospitals without qualified personnel or equipment for the care of children
  • Burn injury in patients who will require special social, emotional or long-term rehabilitative intervention

Source: Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient: 1999 
By the Committee on Trauma, American College of Surgeons