Burn injuries are unique, in that they can cause severe physical and psychological trauma to the victim. When a person suffers a severe burn, even after the wound has healed, there is almost always a terrible scar that disfigures the skin. During the healing process, the affected area can suffer from a limited range of motion that is difficult to overcome. Permanent damage can be done to the lungs, throat and vocal chords. The emotional impact of these injuries can also be permanent.
Medical advances in burn treatments have been reflected in the survival rates of those with burn injuries. Burns in children which cover 30% of total body surface area (TBSA) which used to have 90% mortality in the era between the World Wars. By the mid-1950s, a 50% TBSA had a 50% mortality. Burn mortality rates continued to decline, and since the late 1990s, 50% of pediatric burn patients were expected to survive 91-95% TBSA burns. (National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health)
Within the healthcare delivery system in the United States, regional burn centers have been developed where specialized burn services and research can be provided for the residents of that area. North Dakota does not have one of these specialized treatment centers, however, which means that patients must be treated in local hospitals, or transferred to centers in neighboring states:
- Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center
- Miller-Dwan Burn Center
- Hennepin County Medical Center Burn Center
- Regions Hospital Burn Center
- University of Colorado Hospital Burn Center
- Burn Care Center at the Anschutz Medical Campus
- The Children’s Hospital Burn Center
- Swedish Medical Center Burn and Reconstructive Center
Why we need a center of our own
Some of North Dakota’s leading industries – agriculture, oil and gas extraction, coal mining – can expose workers to burn risk on a daily basis. Highly flammable materials and corrosive chemicals can lead to permanent injuries in the event of an explosion or flash fire. Burns often take a long time to heal and the risk of infection is always a possibility.
That our workers – or that any ND resident or visitor – would need to be transferred to a burn trauma center in a different state seems like poor oversight at best. It is time that we have a specialized treatment center of our own, to help protect North Dakotans.
The North Dakota burn injury lawyers at Larson Law Firm, P.C. help people move forward after a catastrophic injury. We advocate on your behalf, so that you can receive the highest quality of care and treatment possible. To schedule your free initial consultation, call our Minot office at 701-484-HURT, or fill out our contact form.