Spotlight: Miami Valley Hospital Regional Adult Burn Center

Premier Pulse     December 2018

Fire hazards in winter are as ubiquitous as presents under the tree, lurking in space heaters and decorative candles. Whether the resulting burns are coin-sized or catastrophic, they share one thing in common: They should be treated immediately at the Miami Valley Hospital Regional Adult Burn Center – one of only six adult burn programs in the state of Ohio, and the only one in the Dayton area.

“As a rule of thumb, all burns should be seen at our regional burn center,” said Travis Perry, MD, medical director of the Burn Center, which treats all severity levels of burn injuries. “If you want your burn scarring to be barely noticeable, rather than blatant, see us sooner rather than later.”

Dr. Perry, a burn- and wound-trained surgeon, came to Miami Valley Hospital from Shriners Hospitals for Children – Galveston, a verified pediatric burn care center in Texas. “I initiated the same protocols for our staff,” he said. “It’s an aggressive team approach, and the outcomes are comparable to anywhere in the country.”

The Burn Center’s multidisciplinary team features physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, a dietitian, pharmacists, a social worker, psychologists, and pastoral counselors.

Burn Center patients receive specialized, intensive care and an integrated team approach, whether they are being treated in a 10-bed burn unit equipped with the latest technology, or as outpatients in the same-day burn clinic.

“We focus on scar management for both big and small burns,” said nurse manager Melora Waltman.

A burn the size of a nickel might not seem serious enough to leave the holiday dinner table. If left untreated, however, it can cause a large disruption in a patient's life; even a small burn involving the joints, for instance, can result in limited range of motion. “A small burn and its appearance might make a big difference in someone's life,” Waltman said.

Patients who don't require hospitalization can be referred to the same-day burn clinic. “The trend is toward handling patients on an outpatient basis, which is more convenient and conducive to care,” Dr. Perry said.

Comprehensive services offered at the Burn Center include management of all sizes of burn wounds, burn scar management, and reconstructive surgery. Other specialties include management of all types of chronic wounds, such as arterial insufficiency ulcers, venous stasis ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and pressure ulcers; and treatment of complex skin and soft-tissue wounds, such as necrotizing soft tissue infections, and large complex skin disorder wounds, such as Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis Syndrome (TENS). “We achieve great success through aggressive wound care management,” Waltman said.

The Burn Center – which has access to the region’s only Level 1 Trauma Center at Miami Valley Hospital – features a ventilation system isolated from the rest of the hospital to prevent infection, as well as two treatment rooms built to operating room specifications. Staff also work closely with the affiliated Wound Care Center and Ostomy Clinic – the only one of its kind in the region. “We are all part of the same team,” noted Greg Sanchez, one of three advanced practice nurses in the Ostomy Clinic.

“We are a highly specialized team, with everyone working on their respective parts,” Dr. Perry said.

Dr. Perry hopes patients and providers will remember one thing: “Prompt treatment can maximize cosmetic and functional outcomes for patients and help them quickly resume everyday activities.”

Back to the December 2018 issue of Premier Pulse

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