Burn injuries that should be referred to a burn center include:
- 2nd degree burns in more than 10% of the body surface area
- 3rd degree burns
- Burns to face, hands, feet, genitalia, perineum and major joints
- Electrical burns (including lightning injury)
- Chemical burns
- Burn injury in patients with preexisting medical disorders that could complicate management, prolong recovery, or affect mortality.
- Any patient with burns and concomitant trauma (such as fractures) in which the burn injury poses the greatest risk of morbidity or mortality. In such cases, if the trauma poses the greater immediate risk, the patient may be initially stabilized in a trauma center before being transferred to a burn unit. Physician judgment will be necessary in such situations and should be in concert with the regional medical control plan and triage protocols.
- Burn injury in patients who will require special social, emotional, or rehabilitative intervention.
*Excerpted from Guidelines for the Operation of Burn Centers (pp. 79-86), Resources for Optimal Care of the Injured Patient 2006, Committee on Trauma, American College of Surgeons.