Burn Care at the Forefront
The University of Chicago Medicine Burn and Complex Wound Center is a specialized care program where patients who have sustained burn injuries or other severe wounds are treated by a unique, multidisciplinary team of experts.
Patients are cared for by a team of doctors, nurses and staff from plastic and reconstructive surgery, anesthesia and critical care. In addition to providing acute, life saving burn care, our unique multidisciplinary team has expertise in both reconstructive and critical care disciplines. Our plastic and reconstructive surgeons provide state-of-the-art surgical care to treat burns and complex wounds as well as burn scars and deformities.
Participation by nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, social work, nutrition, respiratory therapy, child life therapy and pastoral care create an environment capable of providing expert comprehensive care for all of our patients. Additional critical care and surgery staff, as well as residents from anesthesia and surgery, participate in our round-the-clock patient care.
Our Burn Center is accredited by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association. We have an eight-bed intensive care unit (ICU) dedicated to adult and pediatric burn patients. The Burn Center addresses all aspects of burns from transport to acute care to post-burn rehabilitation.
Our Burn Care Services
Children who suffer burn injuries have very specific emotional and psychological needs. Our child life specialists help children through hydrotherapy and dressing changes by providing distractions and introducing relaxation techniques. Through the use of teaching dolls, medical play and expressive therapies, child life specialists also help burn patients accept their injuries and develop a positive body image.
Our staff also participates in the annual Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Burn Camp, a summer program geared toward children with burn injuries.
The Burn Center is instrumental in creating a burn annex with the city of Chicago and state of Illinois disaster plan. And our Burn Center nurses educate local emergency rooms on burn injuries.
In addition to specialized clinical care, the Burn Center serves as a source for several ongoing research projects, including:
- Biology of scar formation and control
- Electrical trauma
- Molecular and cellular aspects of electrical injury
- Impact of nutritional supplements to wound healing
- Anesthetic pain management
- Pediatric pain control
- Aspects of pediatric post-traumatic stress disorder (in conjunction with a psychologist at La Rabida Children's Hospital.)
Our Burn Center is unique in having an in-house child protective services (CPS), headed by doctors who specialize in assessing for potential cases of abuse and neglect. The CPS team and Burn Center team collaborate closely with the CPS team providing a link between the medical team and outside state agencies.