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Burns: Approach to Care

Burn Center

The UF Health Burn Center treats people with burn injuries, severe skin disorders, difficult or chronic wound problems and those requiring assistance following complex corrective or reconstructive surgeries. The UF Health Burn Center offers a full spectrum of care from outpatient service to the most advanced level of inpatient critical care medicine for infants and adults. The UF Health Burn Center has been practicing a multidisciplinary approach since it opened in 1973. A team of plastic surgeons, general surgeons, nurses and social workers work together to provide outstanding care.

David W. Mozingo, M.D., is an associate professor of surgery and anesthesiology and director of The UF Health Burn Center. Together with Winston Richards M.D., hand surgeon for the Burn Unit and Elizabeth A. Beierle-Chen M.D., assistant professor of pediatric surgery and medical director for pediatric burns and wound care, the UF Health Burn Center continues its philosophy that a team approach is the key to saving lives.

History of leadership

In 1973, UF Health opened a six bed Burn Intensive Care Unit with the support of Eugene Tubbs, M.D., who was a legislator, physician and attorney. In 1988, a new unit was opened. Hal G. Bingham, M.D., served as the unit's medical director, overseeing its expansion to eight beds. David W. Mozingo, M.D., became the unit's medical director in 1996 Dr. Bingham's retirement. Under Dr. Mozingo's direction the unit was unit certified as a Burn Center with 8 beds and outpatient services expanded to include wound care.

Relevant Links

Admissions

When a patient is referred to the UF Health Burn Center, he or she is evaluated and a treatment plan is developed incorporating the appropriate services based on his or her individual medical status and needs.

The American Burn Association through the American College of Surgeons identified the following criteria as requiring referral to a burn center after initial assessment and treatment at an emergency department:

  • Second-degree burns greater than or equal to 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 injury
  • Pre-existing medical disorders that could complicate management, prolong recovery or affect mobility
  • Burns and concomitant trauma (other injuries such as broken bones; fractures; brain injuries; inhalation injuries or abdominal trauma) in which injury poses the greatest risk of morbidity or mortality
  • Children needing qualified personnel and equipment
  • Patients who require special social, emotional or long-term rehab intervention

Research at the Burn Center

As part of an academic medical center, we are committed to being actively involved in research. Through research we can continue to innovate and provide state-of-the-art clinical care. By studying materials or medications that may decrease hospital length of stay, imrpove healing time, improve cosmetic outcomes and lower costs, we help improve patient outcomes.

Current research studies include:

    1. Comparing a new topical cream to standard burn cream in the treatment of severe burns.
    2. Evaluating the impact of traditional burn treatments on swallowing.
    3. Studying the characteristics of healing in burn patients in order to improve future care.
    4. Use of skin graft adhesive to improve healing and decrease pain from staples.
    5. Analyzing fluids and tissue from chronic wounds such as diabetic foot ulcers, decubitus and venous stasis ulcers to better understand the healing properties.
    6. New Antimicrobial therapy for ventilator associated pneumonias.
    7. New medications to improve pain management in the thermally injured patient.
    8. Participate in multicenter trials groups to better understand disease states such as TENS, Purpura Fulminans as well as general burn care.

As new therapies become available in the area of burns and chronic wounds we will be offering further research.

Southeast Burn Foundation

The Southeast Burn Foundation was established in January 1998 in partnership with firefighters, burn survivors, community leaders, and burn care professionals to develop innovative programs and services to support recovery from and prevention of burn injury. The foundation provides services such, as support groups, a week-long summer camp for children, and education programs. In conjunction with the UF Health Burn Center, the foundation holds Burn Prevention week every February, with an annual gala celebration for burn survivors and their families.

Visit the southeastburnfoundation.org Web site for more information.