Hundreds expected at annual party for burn survivors

December 08, 2011
Dr. Nicole Bernal

Preparations are under way for UC Irvine’s Burn Survivor’s Holiday Party on Dec. 13. The staff of UC Irvine Regional Burn Center expects several hundred current and former patients and their families to attend the annual party, which will feature music, dinner, arts and crafts for children and a visit from Santa Claus.

“When a patient is injured, we like to say they become part of our family,” says Dr. Nicole Bernal, acting director of the burn center. “Events like this are important for the families and are therapeutic for survivors.”

The healing process continues after a patient leaves the intensive care unit, as burn injuries often leave long-lasting emotional and physical scars. UC Irvine’s burn survivor programs are designed to heal the spirit and create a sense of community that allows the survivor to reintegrate into society knowing they are not alone.  Pediatric burn camps, scholarships, summer picnics, holiday parties and monthly support group meetings are just a few the programs designed to help this special group of children and adults thrive.

UC Irvine Regional Burn Center was among the nation’s first comprehensive burn centers when it opened more than 30 years ago. Verified by the American College of Surgeons, UC Irvine has led the nation in burn care with advanced surgical techniques, innovations in synthetic skin treatments and expert patient care. The center annually treats more than 600 patients for burns of all kinds. One-third of these patients are children.

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