Burn Care Units

A Burn center or Burn unit is a hospital specializing in the treatment of burns. Burn centers are often used for the treatment and recovery of patients with more severe burns.

The first burn center in the world was established during World War II at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, Sussex, England. Here, surgeon Archibald McIndoe developed pioneering treatments for severely burned aircrew.

Currently, burns are described according to the depth of injury to the dermis and are loosely classified into first, second, third and fourth degrees. This system was devised by the French barber-surgeon Ambroise Pare and remains in use today. It is often difficult to accurately determine the depth of a burn. This is especially so in the case of second degree burns, which can continue to evolve over time. As such, a second-degree partial-thickness burn can progress to a third-degree burn over time even after initial treatment.
In order to determine the need for referral to a specialised burn unit, the American Burn Association devised a classification system to aid in the decision-making process. Under this system, burns can be classified as major, moderate and minor. This is assessed based on a number of factors, including total body surface area (TBSA) burnt, the involvement of specific anatomical zones, age of the person and associated injuries.

Different Types of Burns:

These burns are caused by strong acids or bases. They can be caused by caustic chemical compounds such as sodium, hydroxide, or silver nitrate.

These burns can be caused by either an electric shock or an uncontrolled short circuit. It is common that electrical burns are often workplace injuries. Sometimes these burns may not produce an external burn, but the patient may experience significant internal injuries. These internal injuries may end up leading to cardiac arrest and unexpected falls which may result in fractures.

These burns are caused by too much exposure to UV light from the sun, tanning booths, or radiation therapy. Most commonly, a radiation burn is the result of being in the sun too long which can then lead to sun poisoning or a heat stroke.

A scalding burn is caused by a hot liquid. These are very common in children due to accidental spills.


Treatments for burns have come such a long way in a very short period of time. Over 50% of burn victim survivors now, would not have been able to survive with the technology available 10 years ago.

"Advances in burn therapy have allowed us to heal burn injuries, especially small burn injuries, more quickly with significantly less pain. Second-degree burns can be treated with a single application of a bilaminate skin substitute, porcine skin or cadaver skin. Most second degree burns heal within 10 days after application of one of these skin substitutes which do not require dressing changes and virtually eliminates the pain," -- Dr. Fred Mullins, burn surgeon and medical director of the Joseph M. Still Burn Center, in Augusta, Georgia.

There is also a surgery that can be done in the beginning stages that is said to increase blood flow in the area where the patient is burned. This is done in hopes of removing blockage so that the patient may eventually be able to retain feeling in that area. It also helps reduce the number of amputations.

This website has some good information: