By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The Edward G. Hirschman Burn Center at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton is the premier provider of comprehensive burn care in Inland Southern California.
The 14-bed burn unit serves a four-county area that includes the counties of San Bernardino, Riverside, Inyo and Mono. On average, about 400 people are admitted to the Burn Center annually, in addition to about 100 outpatient visits.
The hospital, which is owned and operated by the County of San Bernardino, opened the Burn Center in 1972 at the former San Bernardino County Medical Center located on Gilbert Street in San Bernardino. Today, the state-of-the-art Burn Center is located on the second floor of Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, which opened its doors in 1999.
Burn care has evolved significantly over the years thanks to advancements in medical technology such as biosynthetic dressings and skin grafting techniques as well as revised methods of managing burn victim’s fluid resuscitation and pain management.
“There was a time when someone with burns greater than 30 percent total body surface area would not survive,” Burn Center Nurse Manager Adrian Martinez said. “Now we have had patients with 90 percent plus of their body burned walk out of here after many, many months of care.”
Time is of the essence when it comes to treating someone who has suffered significant burn injuries. Intensive treatment in the first 24 to 48 hours is critical to avoid amputations, massive shock, kidney failure or death.
Every year, the Burn Center offers advanced burn life support training for area nurses, physicians, physician assistants, and paramedics to ensure they can identify and treat serious burn injuries and know when patients need the specialty care provided at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.
The Burn Center also has a Juvenile Fire Setter Intervention Program that focuses on educating children caught playing with fire about how devastating burn injuries can be. Children in this program learn about the consequences of playing with fire, and how dangerous burns can be, they may have the opportunity to visit other patients who have suffered serious burn injuries.
“They smell, they see, they get a little woozy, and they learn,” Martinez said.
The Fire and Burn Foundation in collaboration with the Burn Center hosts Camp Beyond the Scars twice a year for children ages 5 to 17 who have suffered serious burns. With the help of many volunteers, including firefighters and others who have also suffered burn injuries.
The Fire and Burn Foundation, which is supported by numerous local businesses, firefighter organizations and other groups such as the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center Foundation, raises money to support the camps. The nonprofit also helps fund research and equipment for the Burn Center, and it provides support for patients, including helping victims’ families pay for hotel stays during their love ones’ long recovery.
Visit www.arrowheadmedcenter.org to learn more about the Burn Center and the other innovative and specialized medical services provided by the County hospital.