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Burns: Treatment Centers

Author / Coordinator: &nbsp
March 2007

A burn is an injury to tissue that can be caused by heat, chemicals or electricity. While burns most often affect the skin, deeper burns can injure tissue well below the skin’s surface. In addition, internal burns may occur to the esophagus and stomach when extremely hot liquids are ingested and to the lungs when hot air is inhaled during a fire.

What are the categories of burns?
The treatment of burns depends on the depth, area and location of the burn. Burn depth is generally categorized as first, second or third degree. A first degree burn is superficial and has similar characteristics to a typical sun burn. The skin is red in color and sensation is intact. In fact, it is usually somewhat painful. Second degree burns look similar to the first degree burns; however, the damage is now severe enough to cause blistering of the skin and the pain is usually somewhat more intense. In third degree burns the damage has progressed to the point of skin death. The skin is white and without sensation.

Regardless of the type of burn, the result is fluid accumulation and inflammation in and around the wound. Moreover, it should be noted that the skin is the body’s first defense against infection by microorganisms. Damage to the skin can predispose the burn victim to both infection at the site of the wound as well as internally.

What is the significance of the total body area affected?
In addition to the intensity, the total area of the burn is significant. This is usually measured in terms of percent of total body burnt. The skin acts as a barrier from the environment, and without it, patients are subject to infection and fluid loss. Burns that cover more than 15% of the total body surface can lead to shock and require hospitalization for intravenous fluid resuscitation and skin care.

How important is the location of a burn?
Burn location is even more important than the above factors. Burns of the neck or signs of burns to the nose or mouth require emergent guarding of the patient’s airway, as swelling may results in life threatening obstruction. Burned tissue shrinks and can cause damage to underlying structures. Burns that extend circumferentially around body structures require surgical release of the tissue, often referred to as escharotomy. Finally, all eye burns require special attention as soon as possible. Burns to the eye may lead to clouded or lost vision.


1. First remove any constricting jewelry, such as rings.
2. Do NOT use butter or oils on a burn.
3. The effected area should be dowsed with cool water as soon as possible. It can be cleansed gently with chlorhexidine solution. Do NOT apply ice or cool to near-freezing temperatures (this can cause additional tissue injury).
4. A tetanus booster should be obtained if not administered within the previous 5 years.

First degree thermal burns can be treated with local skin care such as aloe vera. Many topical antibiotics and antiseptics are available in the drug store for minor burns.

All second and third degree thermal burns and the complicated locations listed above need immediate physician evaluation. Special topical antiseptic creams are used for more serious burns, including silver sulfdiazine, silver nitrate, and mafenide acetate creams.

Burns can be caused by heat (thermal), as well as by electricity, and chemicals.

What about electrical burns?
Any significant burn resulting from electricity, requires immediate physician evaluation. These burns often result in serious muscle breakdown, electrolyte abnormalities, and occasionally kidney failure. The actual site of damage can be internal and may not be visible on the skin surface.

What about chemical burns?
The treatment for chemical burns is similar to thermal burns except copious amounts of water should be used to irrigate the effected region. Contaminated clothing should be removed. Do NOT attempt to neutralize the burn with a reciprocal chemical. This may cause a chemical reaction that could result in a thermal burn too! Many chemicals have, in addition, specific treatments that can further reduce the resulting skin damage. If in doubt, call your local poison control center or make a quick trip to your local Emergency Room.

Find treatment centers in your state:

Shriners Burn Treatment for Children
International Headquarters
2900 Rocky Point Dr.
Tampa, FL 33607-1460


UAB Burn Center
Birmingham, AL
800 822-6478


Providence Alaska Medical Center
Anchorage, AK
907 261-3651

Providence Alaska Medical Center
Anchorage, AK
907 261-3651


Alta Bates Medical Center
Berkeley, CA
510 204-1573

Children’s Hospital of Oakland
Oakland, CA
510 428-3394

Dameron Hospital
Stockton, CA
209 944-5550

Inland Counties Regional Burn Center
San Bernardino, CA
909 387-8029

Martin Luther Hospital
Anaheim, CA
714 956-BURN

San Francisco General Hospital
San Francisco, CA
415 206-8201

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
San Jose, CA
408 885-2005

St. Francis Memorial Hospital
San Francisco, CA
415 353-6255


North Colorado Medical Center
Greeley, CO
970 350-6578

Penrose-St. Francis Health Services
Colorado Springs, CO
719 776-5000

St. Mary’s Hospital & Medical Center
Grand Junction, CO
970 244-2273

The Children’s Hospital Burn Center
Denver, CO
303 861-6516

University of Colorado Health Sciences Center
Denver, CO
303 372-0001


Bridgeport Hospital Burn Center
Bridgeport, CT
203 384-3728

Washington D.C.

Children’s National Medical Center
Washington, DC
202 884-5110

The Burn Center at Washington Hospital Center
Washington, DC
202 877-7241


Tampa General Hospital
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 844-7000

University of Miami
Miami, FL 33136
305 585-1269

Augusta Medical Center
Augusta, GA
706 651-6661

Grady Memorial Hospital
Atlanta, GA 30335
404 616-9852


Straub Clinic & Hospital — Burn Care Unit
888 S. King St.
Honolulu, HI 96813-3009 United States
808 522-3731


Cook County Hospital — Sumner L. Koch Burn Center
700 S. Wood St. 5th Flr.
Chicago, IL 60612 United States
312 633-6564

Loyola University Medical Center
Maywood, IL
708 216-3988

Memorial Medical Center
Springfield, IL
217 788-3325

St. Anthony Medical Center
Rockford, IL
815 395-5313

Trinity Medical Center
Rock Island, IL
309 779-3173

University of Chicago Burn Center
Chicago, IL
773 702-6736


Indiana University Medical Center Burn Center
Indianapolis, IN
317 630-6471

Riley Children’s Hospital
Indianapolis, IN
317 274-3927

St. Joseph’s Medical Center
Fort Wayne, IN
219 425-3570


Iowa Methodist Burn Center
Des Moines, IA
515 241-5042

University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Iowa City, IA
319 356-2496

St. Luke’s Burn Center
Sioux City, IA
712 279-3440


University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, KS
913 588-6540

Via Christi Regional Medical Center
Wichita, KS
316 268-5388

University of Kentucky Medical Center
Lexington, KY
606 323-5260


Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge, LA
225 387-7716

Louisiana State University Medical Center
Shreveport, LA
318 675-6850

Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center –
Baltimore, MD 21224-2735
410 550-0890


Boston Medical Center
Boston, MA
617 534-5000

Boston, MA 02115-6195
617 732-7715

Massachusetts General Hospital –
Boston, MA
617 726-3354

Shriners Burns Institute
Boston, MA
617 722-3000

University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Worcester, MA
508 856-0011


Johns Hopkins Bayview Burn Treatment Center
Phone: 410-550-0411
Fax:: 410-550-8161


Blodgett Regional Burn Center
1840 Wealthy St. SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49506-2921 United States
616 774-7670

Bronson Methodist Hospital
Kalamazoo, MI
616 341-7654

Detroit Receiving Hospital Burn Center
313 745-3078

E.W. Sparrow Hospital
Lansing, MI
517 483-2647

Hurley Medical Center
Flint, MI
810 257-9188

St. Mary’s Medical Center
Saginaw, MI
517 776-8620

University of Michigan Medical Center
Ann Arbor, MI
734 936-9666


Burn Center at Hennepin County Medical Center
Minneapolis, MN
612 347-2915

Miller-Dwan Burn Center
Duluth, MN
218 720-1215

Regions Hospital Burn Center
St. Paul, MN
651 221-2810


Delta Regional Medical Center
Greenville, MS
601 334-2514


Barnes-Jewish Hospital
St. Louis, MO
314 362-4060

St. John’s Mercy Medical Center
St. Louis, MO
314 569-6000

St. John’s Regional Burn Unit
Springfield, MO
417 885-2876

St. Louis Children’s Hospital
St. Louis, MO
314 454-6000

The Children’s Mercy Hospital
Kansas City, MO
816 234-3520

University of Missouri Hospital & Clinics
Columbia, MO
573 882-7994


Clarkson Hospital Burn Center
Omaha, NE
402 552-2876


Lion’s Burn Care Center
Las Vegas, NV
702 383-2268

New Jersey

St. Barnabas Medical Center
Livingston, NJ 07039 United States
973 533-5920

New York

Erie County Medical Center
716 898-5231

Good Samaritan Hospital Burn Program
West Islip, NY
516 587-9700

Jacobi Medical Center
Bronx, NY
718 918-6606

Nassau County Medical Center
516 572-3207

New York Hospital Burn Center
New York, NY
212 746-5317

Staten Island University Hospital Burn Center
475 Seaview Avenue
State Island, NY
(718) 226-9000

St. Joseph’s Hospital
Elmira, NY
607 733-6541

Strong Memorial Hospital
Rochester, NY
716 275-2100

University Hospital Burn Center
State University of New York at Stony Brook
516 444-2270

Westchester County Medical Center
914 493-7000

North Carolina

University of North Carolina Hospitals
Chapel Hill, NC
919 966-3693

Wake Forest University
Wake Forest, NC
336 716-2038


C.R. Boeckman Regional Burn Center
Akron, OH
330 379-8224

Children’s Hospital Inc.
Columbus, OH
614 722-2000

MetroHealth Medical Center
Cleveland, OH
216 778-5643

Miami Valley Hospital
Dayton, OH
937 208-2126

Ohio State University Medical Center
Columbus, OH
614 293-8744

Shriners Hospitals for Children –
Cincinnati, OH
513 872-6000

St. Vincent Mercy Medical Center
Toledo, OH 43608-2603
419 251-3232

University of Cincinnati Hospital
Cincinnati, OH 45267 United States
513 558-8199


Alexander Burn Center
Tulsa, OK
918 579-4580

Children’s Hospital of Oklahoma
Oklahoma City, OK
405 271-4733


Oregon Burn Center
Portland, OR
503 280-4232


Crozer-Chester Medical Center
Upland, PA
610 447-2800

Lehigh Valley Hospital Burn Center
Allentown, PA
610 402-8734

Mercy Hospital of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA
412 232-8111

St. Agnes Medical Center
Philadelphia, PA
215 339-4100

St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Philadelphia, PA
215 427-5000

Temple University Hospital
Philadelphia, PA
215 707-2876

Western Pennsylvania Hospital
Pittsburgh, PA 15224-1722 United States
412 578-5274

South Carolina

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
843 792-3681

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
843 792-3851

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
843 792-3681

Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
843 792-3851

South Dakota

McKennan Hospital
Sioux Falls, SD
605 322-2400


Erlanger Health Systems Burn Unit
Chattanooga, TN
423 778-7881

Firefighters Regional Burn Center
Memphis, TN
901 545-8090

Vanderbilt Burn Center
Nashville, TN
615 322-4590


Columbia Medical Center West
El Paso, TX
915 521-1200

Hermann Burn Center
Houston, TX
713 704-4350

Parkland Memorial Hospital
Dallas, TX
214 590-7635

Shriners Hospitals for Children
Galveston, TX
409 770-6600

Spahn Memorial Hospital
Corpus Christi, TX
512 902-4000

St. Luke’s Baptist Hospital –
San Antonio, TX
210 692-8732

University Medical Center
Lubbock, TX
806 743-3406

University of Texas Medical Branch
Galveston, TX
409 772-2023

US Army Institute of Surgical Research
Fort Sam Houston, TX
210 222-2876


Intermountain Burn Center
Salt Lake City, UT
801 581-2700


Fletcher Allen Health Care
Burlington, VT
802 656-2304


Medical College of Virginia Hospitals
Richmond, VA
804 828-2876

Sentara Norfolk General Hospital
Norfolk, VA
757 668-3117

Retreat Wound Healing Center
Richmond, VA
804 254-5403

University of Virginia Health Sciences Ctr.
Charlottesville, VA
804 924-2876


Sacred Heart Medical Center
Spokane, WA
509 455-3131

St. Joseph Hospital
Bellingham, WA
360 734-5400

St. Joseph Hospital and Health Care Center
Tacoma, WA
253 591-6761

University of Washington Burn Center
Seattle, WA
206 284-2876

West Virginia

Cabell Huntington Hospital
Huntington, WV
304 526-2000

St. Mary’s Hospital
Milwaukee, WI
414 291-1163

University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics
Madison, WI
608 263-8640

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