Burn center verification is a voluntary joint program of the American Burn Association (ABA) and the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma. Mercy St. Louis was originally verified in 2014 when the burn center met rigorous standards for organizational structure, personnel qualifications, facilities resources and medical care services. The re-verification highlights Mercy’s continued focus on high quality patient care for burn patients from time of injury through rehabilitation.
“Burn care isn’t something that’s planned, but when it’s needed it’s good for people to know the level of care we provide at Mercy,” said Dr. Michael Smock, plastic surgeon and Mercy St. Louis Burn Center director. “This national designation shows our patients and surrounding community the commitment we have made to provide the highest quality of care to those who need our services.”
According to the ABA, burn injuries result in approximately 486,000 hospital emergency department visits and 40,000 acute admissions in the U.S. each year. Most burn injuries are relatively minor and patients are discharged following outpatient treatment at the initial medical facility. However, of the patients who require hospitalization, about 20,000 are admitted directly or by referral to hospitals with special capabilities in the treatment of burn injuries.
The Mercy Burn Center, a 12-bed unit, is the only facility providing comprehensive acute and reconstructive burn care for adults and children in eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. Mercy Hospital St. Louis treats an approximately 250 burn patients each year with an eight-day average stay.
“Our patients are with us their entire stay in the hospital to ensure they receive the specialized care required to have the best functional outcomes,” said Bethany Westlake, Mercy Hospital St. Louis executive director of nursing. “The team includes specialized dietician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, Burns Recovered counselor and the medical team.”