Renovations coming, clinical trials keep Burn Center on cutting edge of burn care
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Baton Rouge General’s Regional Burn Center, the
first and only verified burn center in the region, celebrates its 50th
anniversary this year. Each year, it treats more than 4,000 patients from
all over the state.
This year marks big changes for BRG’s Regional Burn Center: a renovation
including state-of-the-art inpatient suites and more beds, a rooftop therapy
garden offering burn survivors a safe and comfortable way to ease back
into the world around them, and a pediatric playroom. A newly renovated
outpatient rehab gym and treatment center will give burn patients the
space they need to continue their recovery after discharge. Renovations
are scheduled to be complete in the fall.
“Burn care is incredibly complex, beginning at the time of injury
and lasting through treatment, recovery and even ongoing survivorship
with support groups and a summer camp for children,” said Dr. Tracee
Short, Medical Director of BRG’s Regional Burn Center.
In November 2012, a devastating oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico
resulted in three fatalities and several injuries. BRG’s Regional
Burn Center cared for four of the injured construction workers for over
a month, helping them to get back home to the Philippines for the holidays.
Sen. David Heitmeier visited the workers before their release.
Pediatric burn surivors at Baton Rouge General’s Camp Catahoula in July.
On the cutting edge of burn care and clinical research, BRG was one of
10 centers nationwide to participate in a trial study last year of StrataGraft,
a sheet of living skin designed to replace a patient’s skin if injured.
The youngest application of StrataGraft was performed at BRG, on a 12-week-old.
The regenerative skin tissue changes the way burns are managed, while
also minimizing the pain and recovery for burn patients. An expanded access
study of StrataGraft is in the works at BRG, where the team will be able
to use the skin tissue on deeper wounds.
BRG is also one of two sites nationwide participating in a clinical trial
of PluroGel®, a gel-based dressing that helps remove dead tissue.
The trial will evaluate its wound healing capabilities in burn patients
as well as the pain perception of patients during the removal and application
of the dressing. BRG was one of the first in the country to evaluate Kerecis,
a fish-skin product that heals human tissue damage such as burn wounds,
and also uses the latest in technology, like ReCell, a spray-on skin treatment.
As Baton Rouge was emerging as an industrial hub, so was the need for specialized
burn care, and on July 14, 1970, the Regional Burn Center opened its doors,
only the 14th in the country to do so. Since then, its team has cared
for pediatric and adult burn patients, treating nearly 90 percent of all
burns in the Baton Rouge region each year as well as patients from almost
200 zip codes between Florida and Texas. The Burn Center team includes
42 members of all different specialties, including nutrition, surgery,
rehab, psychiatrists, ENTs and social workers.
In 2015, the Regional Burn Center earned the designation as Louisiana’s
only verified burn center and the only verified center between Florida
and Texas. Verification is a rigorous process that only 68 burn centers
across the nation have achieved and demonstrates that BRG provides the
highest quality care of burns from time of injury through rehabilitation.
“Our frontline staff shows such dedication in providing not only
the highest quality care but the compassion to make patients and their
families feel secure,” Dr. Short added.
As the Region 2 designated HazMat response hospital, BRG’s Regional
Burn Center is critical to Louisiana’s petrochemical, manufacturing,
and oil and gas industries, which currently employ nearly 300,000 workers
across the state. But, in addition to the hundreds of patients injured
in industrial accidents each year, the Regional Burn Center treats thousands
of patients injured in other household accidents.
“While the majority of our patients adults, about 800 children are
burned and treated at BRG each year, typically from household accidents
involving food or appliances,” said Dr. Short. “And some of
them are in the hospital a long time – 45 days is not unheard of.”
Rooftop garden. Rendering courtesy of Baton Rouge General
For its pediatric burn survivors, BRG created Camp Catahoula, a week-long
camp provides some summer fun -- swimming, fishing and games – all
while sharing their experiences with other burn survivors. Camp Catahoula
is staffed by volunteers from Baton Rouge General -- doctors, nurses,
physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and even a chef.
“It is rewarding to see the campers’ excitement as they interact
with other children recovering from burn injuries,” said Dr. Short.
“To feel supported and comfortable around other burn survivors who
have faced the same trauma and who carry similar scars truly aids in their
For more information, visit
brgeneral.org or call (225) 387-7717.
About Baton Rouge General Medical Center
Baton Rouge General Medical Center is the area’s first community
hospital with 588 licensed beds between two campuses. Baton Rouge General
opened its doors in 1900, and has provided the Greater Baton Rouge community
with high-quality healthcare for generations. An accredited teaching hospital
since 1991, Baton Rouge General serves as an affiliate of Tulane University
School of Medicine, and offers other medical education programs, including
a School of Nursing, School of Radiologic Technology, Family Medicine
Residency Program, Internal Medicine Residency Program, and Sports Medicine
Fellowship Program. For more information, visit
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