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Burns: Patient Education and Outreach from University of Colorado Hospital

Burns Have Better Outcomes When Treated at Specialized Burn Centers

If you're concerned about receiving the best burn care treatment, please consider contacting a burn center that's verified by the American Burn Association – such as the Burn Trauma ICU at University of Colorado Hospital.

You should be seen by an ABA-verified burn center for the following:

  • Partial-thickness burns that cover more than 10 percent of the total body surface area 
  • Burns that involve the face, hands, feet, genitalia, perineum, or major joints
  • Third-degree burns
  • Electrical burns, including lightning
  • Chemical burns
  • Inhalation injury
  • If you have any preexisting medical disorders that could complicate care (e.g. pregnancy, diabetes, CAD)
  • If you have children with burn injuries in hospitals without qualified personnel or equipment

Potentially Life-Threatening Skin Diseases That Should Be Treated at Burn Centers

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome

Stevens-Johnson Syndrome (SJS) is a potentially deadly skin disease that is usually caused by a reaction to a medication.


Severe cases are called Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, or TENs. SJS/TENs symptoms can begin with things like aching, fever, or headache. This may be followed by a rash that spreads across the body. The rash can then form into blisters. In severe cases, the skin begins to slough off and peel away from the body. The entire body can be affected, as well as the eye area and mucosal membranes.


SJS/TENs resembles a burn injury, and patients who have the syndrome are susceptible to all the complications a burn patient might have, such as overwhelming infection.  Because of this, SJS/TENs cases are best treated in a Burn Center.


The dedicated multidisciplinary team at the UCH Burn Center is especially equipped to care for patients with skin diseases such as SJS/TENs with advanced treatments such as amniotic membrane transplant to help preserve eyesight.

Necrotizing Fasciitis

Necrotizing fasciitis is more commonly known as "flesh-eating bacteria."


This serious infection usually begins at a surgical site or a site of trauma. The condition progress rapidly from swelling, to blisters, to tissue death.


Necrotizing fasciitis requires hospitalization and has a long recovery process. Burn centers offer the best outcomes by treating the infection, removing all of the dead tissue, and then grafting the skin as necessary.


Living with Burns

People who have suffered burn injuries often need ongoing medical and psychological support. Support from friends and family members is also very important, and finding a burn support group can be very helpful. We can help you find many of these sources of support.

Support Groups

SOAR (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery)

Provides patients and families, while still in the hospital, a connection with a trained peer supporter who has experienced a burn injury. This program benefits patients and their families, the hospital burn team and the person providing peer support.

Talking with someone who has been directly impacted by a burn or by tissue injury can be reassuring, because he or she has had similar experiences and is familiar with what lies ahead.


Monthly Burn Survivor Support Group

Join our burn support group to listen, share, learn from, and support one another.

Support group meetings: Wednesdays

  • Fourth Wednesday of each month, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Anschutz Outpatient Pavilion
  • 2nd floor, room 2005/2006

2013 November and December groups combined meeting: December 11 in the BICU conference room 3.2213 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. for a holiday get-together.


Support group meetings: Saturdays

  • 2nd Saturday of each month, noon to 1 p.m.
  • University of Colorado Hospital, Burn ICU conference rm. 3.2213
  • Lunch provided
  • Upcoming 2013 dates: Nov. 9, Dec. 14

All burn survivors and their loved ones are welcome to attend. For more information, contact Katie Fuenning, (720) 848-6054.

Burn Outreach

The Burn Team at University of Colorado Hospital participates in many different outreach events each month.  Whether it be burn care information for triage and transport of burn patients to EMS and other healthcare providers, or burn prevention education given out in the community, we do our best to be a great resource for you. 


Please see below for two of our specific programs, but also feel free to contact us with any questions or outreach requests that you may have.


Contact Katie Fuenning, outreach coodinator, at (720) 848-6054.


Aurora P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk Related Trauma in Youth)

University of Colorado Hospital is a sponsor of Aurora P.A.R.T.Y., and is seeking volunteers and other support for the program.


P.A.R.T.Y. attendees in the UCH emergency department

P.A.R.T.Y. is a dynamic, interactive injury prevention and health promotion program for teenage students, held at UCH.


Students examine a "crash car" that was involved in a fatal crash, follow a trauma victim through a course of treatment and rehabilitation, and interact with many health care professionals and Colorado State Patrol representatives, who depict the reality of trauma including death, permanent disability, and the effects that a student's poor choices will have on family, friends and everyone else around them.


This program is volunteer-driven and is provided to student groups up to three times monthly depending on resources. 


See our P.A.R.T.Y. web page



Kids on the Block Puppet Show

The Burn Team offers a puppet show for children from Kids on the Block, Inc. Life-sized puppets star in three different fire safety-related scenarios as well as a Stop, Drop, and Roll song. 


This interactive program features three of the most popular Kids on the Block characters who teach children how to prevent fire, how to avoid potentially hazardous situations, and how to react appropriately should danger occur.



Burn and Fire Safety and Care Tips

 In English  En Español
 Emergency care for burns  Cuidado por emergencia para quemaduras
 Burn prevention in children  Prevención de quemaduras en los niños
 Electrical burns in adults  Quemaduras eléctricas en adultos
 Fire safety tips  Consejos de seguridad contra incendios

Additional Burn Resources

American Burn Association

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors