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When a child is severely injured, every second counts.

When Seconds Count

May 2006

by Natalie Gutierrez

When a child is severely injured, every second counts. Getting the proper care quickly is imperative and could mean the difference between life and death in some cases. For many years, children living in South/Central Texas who suffered life-threatening burns had to be transferred more than 250 miles to hospitals in Dallas or Houston. But the Pediatric Burn Program, established two years ago by the Health Science Center, has given hope to thousands of children and their families.

Pediatric Burn Program, established two years ago by the Health Science Center, has given hope to thousands of children and their families.
Located in the Janey Briscoe Children’s Center at University Hospital, the Pediatric Burn Program is the only burn program in South/Central Texas dedicated to children.
"This program is vital because it is the only one of its kind equipped with the personnel and technology to treat burned children in an area of approximately 8 million people," said Steven E. Wolf, M.D., professor of surgery and director of the Pediatric Burn Program. "Burns are the most common injury in children. Our center offers comprehensive care, including acute wound care and critical care, as well as reconstructive surgery and rehabilitation provided by a team of experienced physicians, surgeons, nurses, therapists, psychiatrists and rehabilitation experts."
Getting the proper care quickly is imperative and could mean the difference between life and death.
About five to 15 children ages newborn to 18 are treated each week. Dr. Wolf said he estimates the center treats up to 150 children each year.
Dr. Wolf, who also serves as director of the Burn Center at the U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research at Brooke Army Medical Center, was recruited to lead the program by Ronald Stewart, M.D., associate professor of surgery and director of trauma and emergency surgery for the Health Science Center and the University Health System.

In 2004 Dr. Stewart helped lead the creation of the Trauma Institute of San Antonio, Texas, an initiative to integrate trauma care at all three major trauma centers in San Antonio — University Hospital, Wilford Hall Medical Center and Brooke Army Medical Center. Each receives the most seriously injured patients, including children, from 71 emergency medical services agencies and 30 hospitals located in a 22-county region of South/Central Texas.

Sources: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Safe Kids Worldwide


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