Eskenazi Health educates public on avoidable burn injuries - Eskenazi Health

Home oxygen treatment is a regular treatment for many people with various cardiopulmonary conditions. Despite warnings against smoking while using home oxygen, many people sustain severe burn injuries that result in long visits in the hospital.

A recent study conducted at the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center at Eskenazi Health found that over a five year period, 55 people were admitted to the burn center for smoking-related home oxygen injuries. Eskenazi Health treats more than 350 inpatient burn patients each year in addition to more than 4,200 outpatient visits which includes patients from across the country.

“This study shows a significant number of the patients we treat come to us as a result of an activity that is very avoidable,” said Dr. Rajiv Sood, medical director of the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center and division chief and professor of plastic surgery at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “Educating the public is the key to preventing many of the burn injuries we see.”

Dr. Sood was a co-author of the study, which was conducted from 2008 through 2013. The study found that 72 percent of the burn injuries seen from smoking-related home oxygen injuries resulted in more than five percent of the total body sustaining burns and 14.5 percent of the patients did not survive their injuries. The study also found that 27 percent of the cases involved patients with substance abuse issues and 14.5 percent had previous history of smoking while on home oxygen.     

“It is easy to recognize the danger to the person who smokes while wearing oxygen, but few realize the risk this activity places on cohabitants, neighbors, and emergency rescue personnel,” said Dr. Graham Carlos, section chief of pulmonary/critical care at Eskenazi Health and a co-author of the study.

The Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center offers comprehensive burn prevention services that address at-risk age groups. The burn team distributes a variety of interactive educational information at community health fairs and other gatherings.

Verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center is regarded as one of the finest and most progressive burn centers in the United States. The facility utilizes the most advanced medical techniques and equipment available in the treatment of burns. It was the first burn center in the state and is the only adult burn center that serves Central and Southern Indiana.

For more information about the Richard M. Fairbanks Burn Center or burn prevention, please call 317.880.6900.

CONTACT: Todd Harper
Phone: 317.880.4785
Pager: 317.310.5972 
Email: todd.harper@eskenazihealth.edu