“This time of year, we often see an uptick in patients with serious burns in our emergency departments and burn centers. A celebration with family and friends can quickly become tragic,” said Dr. Carson. “The good news is that many of these situations are preventable if people follow the right precautions.”
Simple actions like keeping cooking areas clean and distraction-free, using oven mitts when handling hot surfaces and turning pot handles to the middle of the stove can greatly minimize the risk of burns while cooking.
Deep-frying a turkey presents an even higher risk. “When you deep fry anything you have to be extra cautious to protect against burns,” said Dr. Carson. “Boiling oil gets much hotter than water, and the water from a frozen turkey can cause a reaction when it hits the oil that sprays it in all directions.”
If you’re thinking of frying a turkey this year, it’s important to use a pot that’s large enough to contain a whole turkey and enough oil, and make sure that the turkey is fully thawed before it is submerged. Keep kids and adults away from the area, and have a reliable and safe way to remove the turkey without spilling the oil.
If you experience any burns this holiday season, Loyola Medicine’s Burn Center can provide advice on how to care for the injury properly to prevent lasting damage. “You don’t have to suffer a severe burn to call us for advice, but signs a burn might be serious include skin discoloration, especially if the skin turns white or black, swelling, loss of sensation and burns covering a large area of the body,” said Dr. Carson. “If burns cover more than a hand-sized area or affect the face, eyes, hands or feet, definitely seek medical treatment.”
It’s best to visit a hospital or care center with a dedicated burn unit because severe burns can cause problems that affect many other parts of the body, some requiring specialized nurses or special surgical care. Most physicians are not trained in advanced burn care, and treating serious burns requires a multidisciplinary approach. Burn centers can also provide the physical and occupational therapy and psychosocial support needed when recovering from serious burns.
As people gather for Thanksgiving with family and friends, remember that everyone can play a role in preventing burns and keeping loved ones safe this holiday season.
Loyola Medicine’s Burn Center provides the most advanced burn care to patients. The center houses an expanded hydrotherapy area for cleaning and dressing wounds and a rehabilitation area where physical and occupational therapists work with patients. An outpatient burn clinic is open five days a week to provide follow-up care. Loyola’s multidisciplinary team at the Burn Center includes specialists from pulmonology, wound management, nutritional support and physical rehabilitation.
To learn more about Loyola Medicine and the Burn Center or to schedule an appointment, visit loyolamedicine.org.
About Loyola Medicine
Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a nationally ranked academic, quaternary care system based in Chicago’s western suburbs. The three-hospital system includes Loyola University Medical Center, Gottlieb Memorial Hospital and MacNeal Hospital, as well as convenient locations offering primary care, specialty care and immediate care services from more than 1,800 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. Loyola is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. & Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois’s largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its academic affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with the newly renovated Judd A. Weinberg Emergency Department, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research facility at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center. MacNeal is a 374-licensed-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced medical, surgical and psychiatric services, acute rehabilitation, an inpatient skilled nursing facility and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. Loyola Medical Group, a team of primary and specialty care physicians, offers care at over 15 Chicago-area locations. For more information, visit loyolamedicine.org. You can also follow Loyola Medicine on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
About Trinity Health
Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic health care delivery systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 92 hospitals, as well as 100 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities, and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.8 billion and assets of $30.5 billion, the organization returns $1.3 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity Health employs about 123,000 colleagues, including 6,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity Health is known for its focus on the country’s aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services — ranked by number of visits — in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs. For more information, visit trinity-health.org. You can also follow Trinity Health on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.