Eskenazi’s burn center to expand in response to high patient volumes

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Eskenazi Hospital is gearing up to expand its burn center for the first time since the downtown hospital opened in 2013.

The hospital’s Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is the only adult burn center in central and southern Indiana, and patient volumes have been booming in recent years.

In response, Eskenazi plans to renovate a portion the center to add three exam rooms, which would bring it to a total of 13. The project is currently out for public bids and has an estimated construction budget of about $320,000, spokesman Todd Harper said.

The project will also include work on mechanical, plumbing, electrical and other building systems.

Across the United States, burns account for more than 40,000 hospitalizations a year, and are caused by a huge array of incidents, including house fires, vehicle crashes and workplace accidents, according to the American Burn Association, based in Chicago.

Up to 10,000 people a year die from burn-related infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Infection.

Burn centers are generally one of the most expensive parts of hospital, both for the wide array of technology required to treat severe burns, and the large teams of surgeons, therapists, social workers and other specialists need to treat patients.

The Fairbanks Burn Center is on the fourth floor of Eskenazi Hospital, near the IUPUI campus. It treats more than 350 inpatients and nearly 5,000 outpatients a year. It has consistently seen an increase of 15 percent annually in outpatient volumes, Harper said.

The burn center also includes 15 private patient beds, two operating rooms, a medical spa, a physical therapy gym and laser-therapy services.

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