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November 7, 1980

Improvements in Burn Care

Author Affiliations

USA US Army Institute of Surgical Research Brooke Army Medical Center Fort Sam Houston, Tex

JAMA. 1980;244(18):2090. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310180056038

The improvement in burn care, as reflected in increased survival of burn patients, that has occurred over the past 15 years is well documented in the article by Feller et al (p 2074) elsewhere in this issue. Their report refutes emphatically the skepticism of other authors recorded in publications (in some of which reliance has been placed on retrospective, nonphysician estimation of burn size) impugning burn unit and burn center cost/benefit ratios and care effectiveness. The data presented confirm generally improved survival and shortened hospital stay during three successive periods of six, four, and four years, respectively, in more than 37,000 burn patients treated in burn care facilities participating in the National Burn Information Exchange Data Collection Program.

In addition to the direct patient care benefits of special burn care facilities noted by the authors, such institutions, by permitting concentration of experience, provide a necessary training ground for those who