KTAR News takes a tour of Arizona’s only nationally verified burn center

Jan 27, 2020, 4:05 AM
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News Photo/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Burn Center – Valleywise is the state’s only adult and pediatric burn center and provides specialized care for over 5,000 patients annually.

KTAR News 92.3 FM got a tour of the facility that was created in the 1883.

Burn surgeon Lou Ferrari discussed treatment not only for Arizonans but for others across the country.

“We have a very large catchment area that not only involves the entire state of Arizona, but eastern California, a large portion of Mexico, and Utah,” Ferrari said.

While touring the 45-bed burn center, we were able to see a trauma victim that had just been rushed into the hospital from a construction accident.

Surgeons at the center treat every imaginable burn, including electricity, lightning, chemicals, and smoke inhalation. They also treat a wide range of rare flesh-eating bacteria and burns from Arizona’s extreme heat.

“Deep in the summer we are very, very busy because we have a large increase in contact burns and pavement burns,” Ferrari added. “We are essentially busy all the time, there’s not a quiet time – there’s just busier times than others.”

The center is the only burn center in Arizona nationally verified by the American Burn Association and the American College of Surgeons. It is backed by the Valley’s only trauma center verified by the ACS to care for adults and children.

During KTAR News’ time inside the burn center it was hot.

“Large injuries to the skin result in pretty rapid hypothermia, so it’s necessary for us to keep our acute care environments very warm, that includes the burn emergency department and the burn operating room,” Ferrari said. “When you first start working here you perspire quite a bit, so you could say it’s a pretty hot place to work.”

In addition, their burn experts share their expertise through national and international conferences, military bases and other hospitals.

They also have conducted important research into new burn treatments including a spray-type skin cell regenerative.

They’re even helping to educate and train burn center teams from Hermosillo, Mexico.

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KTAR News takes a tour of Arizona’s only nationally verified burn center