Pediatric Burns, Trauma Care and Services | Loyola Medicine

Pediatric Burns and Trauma

National Leader in Burn, Trauma and Emergency Treatments

Thousands of children suffer burn-related injuries each year, and scalding liquids are the most common cause. Loyola Medicine is regarded as a regional and national leader in burn, trauma and emergency care and a committed advocate in the effort to reduce pediatric burn injuries. 

Our burn and trauma team offers comprehensive services for young patients with critical illnesses and injuries, including:

  • Burns, including chemical, electrical and scald burns
  • Child abuse
  • Frostbite
  • Gunshot injuries
  • Injuries from falls
  • Motor vehicle accidents
  • Serious fractures
  • Serious skin infections
  • Sports injuries
  • Traumatic wounds

Beyond emergency care, injury prevention is an important part of Loyola’s mission. Through research, education and outreach to the public, we aim to teach families and caregivers how to recognize injury risks and create a safe environment for children at home and in the community.

Why Choose Loyola for Pediatric Burns and Trauma? 

The Burn Center at Loyola is one of the busiest in the Midwest, treating 700 patients annually in the hospital and another 3,500 patients each year in its clinic. About 40 percent of these patients are children. 

The Burn Center at Loyola was awarded verification by the American College of Surgeons (ACS) and the American Burn Association (ABA). This recognition is granted only  to those programs that have met and exceeded the ACS and ABA standards and review.

Loyola’s pediatric burn and trauma specialists understand the unique needs of children and ensure that each child receives comprehensive, individualized care. Our clinicians welcome families to be involved in all aspects of diagnosis, treatment and recovery; they are available to answer any questions and address any concerns you might have.

If your child is hospitalized, dedicated social workers and a child life specialist are trained to care for their special needs, helping ease the child’s anxiety and managing the emotional effects of hospitalization. Chaplain services are also available at all times.

How are Pediatric Burns and Trauma Diagnosed?

When your child arrives at Loyola’s emergency department, an acute response team of surgeons, nurses and emergency medicine specialists will offer immediate intervention. Loyola’s pediatricians coordinate with specialists in emergency medicine to provide a full range of diagnostic services and treatments. 

The goal of Loyola’s burn and trauma specialists is to provide a diagnosis and a comprehensive treatment plan for your child as soon as possible. Our experienced, fellowship-trained burn specialists will conduct a physical exam to determine the severity of your child’s burn or injury. We will determine if it’s a superficial first-degree burn, a second-degree burn or a very serious third-degree burn.

In the case of a wound or fracture, your child’s doctor may order non-invasive imaging tests, including X-rays, CT scan (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).

How are Pediatric Burns and Trauma Treated?

Our primary goal is to improve your child’s condition so that he or she can return to everyday activities. At Loyola, your child’s doctor will provide an individualized plan of treatment for your child’s unique condition, which may include the following treatment options: 

  • Antibiotic ointments
  • Burn dressings, including hydrocolloid dressing
  • Collagenase ointment, to break up dead skin and tissue
  • Immunosuppression and temporary skin transplantation
  • IV fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Pain killers
  • Reconstruction and skin grafts

Surgery or resuscitation efforts may be required for a child with severe trauma injuries. These are performed in cooperation with our pediatric emergency medical team. Children who are seriously burned or injured may need ongoing treatment in our pediatric critical care unit. Treatment plans usually include burn rehabilitation and physical or occupational therapy

As part of our Jesuit mission and identity, Loyola’s clinicians treat the whole person. Going beyond the treatment of your child’s burns, your child’s doctors will make sure to address other health conditions while providing care in a supportive, compassionate environment. To that end, Loyola offers Links of Hope, a burn support group designed to help burn survivors and their families.

Ongoing Research and Clinical Trials to Advance Pediatric Burn Treatments

Loyola is conducting research today to find the surgical and medical treatments of tomorrow. Loyola’s Burn Center is involved in research on post-burn immunosuppression, wound healing, burn-induced coagulation disorders and nutritional support. Our research is integrated with efforts at Loyola's Burn and Shock Trauma Institute. Loyola patients will be granted access to the latest medications and therapies through our clinical trials.