HCMC’s Burn Center doubles in size to care for patients throughout Midwest

by Hennepin Healthcare

Open House 2-4 p.m. Thursday, November 10

Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) announces the opening of its newly remodeled Burn Center, a premier 16,000 square foot facility designed to serve the needs of patients from the entire upper Midwest.

The expanded Burn Center is double the size of the previous facility and houses 17 private rooms with roll-in showers, tub rooms, family-friendly gathering areas, rooming-in options and other amenities that improve the patient experience. An ambulatory burn clinic is part of the new center, providing burn care expertise to patients who don’t require hospitalization.

“Our commitment to serving this community’s burn needs comes at a time when many hospitals are forced to cut their burn care units due to federal funding shortages,” says George Peltier, MD, reconstructive surgeon at HCMC’s Burn Center. “We’ve been treating burn injuries for 30 years, and with the remodeled and expanded Burn Center, we can offer superior, comprehensive care and comfort both during and after treatment.”

A multidisciplinary team approach is used for all burn center patients, with  inpatient care including access to general and plastic surgeons, burn intensive care unit (ICU) nurses, adult and pediatric specialists, rehabilitation services and dietary and nutritional support to promote healing and recovery.

“We have a burn-trained physician or physician’s assistant present every day, including most holidays,” says HCMC burn surgeon Anne Lambert, MD. “This intensive, coordinated and consistent care is why HCMC’s Burn Center is so successful at its ultimate goal: restoring the lives of our patients.”

The Burn Center treats patients with severe burn injuries, frostbite, hypothermia, inhalation injury, plastic reconstruction, complex wounds, road rash, surgical procedures, and epidermal loss from various medical conditions.

The center is nationally recognized for its expertise in treating burn patients of all ages. Coordination of care after discharge includes unique staff participation with community social services, school counselors and other personnel to ease patients’ return to everyday life. A chaplain and other psychologically supportive services are also available.

A new hyperbaric oxygen chamber will open on the main campus early next year. HCMC will be the only facility in Minnesota to have such a chamber available 24/7 for emergency hyperbaric treatment. In addition to treating emergency carbon monoxide poisoning, hyperbaric oxygen treatment is a proven measure to promote healing for certain wounds, including burn-injured skin.

The $12 million expansion and remodeling of the Burn Center and adjacent 12-room, 7,000 square foot Surgery Trauma and Neurology team center are master facility projects funded in 2007 by general obligation bond support from Hennepin County to address the need for renovation and expansion of inpatient units for critical care patients on the downtown campus and expanded outpatient facilities in the community. Two new 24-room Intensive Care Units and a new Observation and Recovery Unit have opened in recent years on the downtown campus. Funding also was used to construct the Whittier Clinic in South Minneapolis.

HCMC’s Burn Center is one of 57 centers across the country designated by the American Burn Association as Verified Burn Centers. Part of its mission includes community education and outreach. In addition to providing instructional materials on burn first aid, scalds, sunburn, frostbite and holiday safety, Burn Center staff conduct burn and fire safety prevention programs in schools and speak at various health care events to help educate other health care professionals.

HCMC is a nationally recognized Level 1 Adult Trauma Center and Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center with the largest emergency department in Minnesota. The comprehensive academic medical center and public teaching hospital includes a 477-bed acute care hospital and primary care and specialty clinics. For the 15th year in a row, HCMC is listed in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of the top U.S. Hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” report.