A new burn center will be opening soon in New Orleans, giving many patients along the Gulf Coast a more local option for the treatment of burn injuries.
According to The Times-Picayune, the new integrated Burn Center and Level 1 Trauma Center at University Medical Center is expected to open in February or March 2018.
The new burn center is a big deal not only for those in the New Orleans area but for the country as well. According to Dr. Jeffrey Carter, the Medical Director of UMC’s Burn Center, there are only 1,900 beds available for patients with burn injuries in the entire nation, and those beds are generally at 95 percent capacity, so the extra 20 ICU-capable beds the new burn center will provide will help meet demand, The Times-Picayune reported.
Currently, patients with burn injuries are first taken to University Medical Center in New Orleans for stabilization before being sent to the two existing regional burn centers at Baton Rouge General Hospital and the Arnold Luterman Regional Burn Center at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
Also, the only other integrated level 1 trauma and burn centers in the Gulf Coast are in Houston and Tampa Bay, so the addition of University Medical Center’s new facility “will allow us to comprehensively treat an injured population from start to finish and improve patient outcomes throughout the Gulf South by minimizing travel for victims of burn and trauma injuries,” UMC president and CEO Bill Masterson said in a statement, according to The Times-Picayune.
The 27,000-square-foot burn center will have 16 inpatient intensive care unit beds, four outpatient clinic rooms, a hydrotherapy room, a therapy and rehabilitation center, and a dedicated operating room.
According to The Times-Picayune, there are 66 burn centers in the U.S. verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. University Medical Center UMC’s Burn Center will seek the same verification, a process requiring it to meet rigorous standards established by both organizations. That process could take up until 2020 to complete.