Hundreds attend UCI Health burn survivors picnic

Events for survivors foster sense of community and healing

August 21, 2015

Dr. Nicole Bernal and a young survivor.

More than 250 burn survivors and their families attended the UCI Health Regional Burn Center’s annual summer picnic, which featured games, face painting and food provided by In-N-Out.

“The UC Irvine burn program’s twice annual gatherings allow our survivors to enjoy a sense of community in a fun setting among others affected by similar injuries” said Dr. Victor Joe, burn center director.

Events for survivors play an important role in recovery. Joe and burn care specialists say a survivor's real healing begins after they’re discharged from the hospital. Services like the summer picnic, peer-to-peer support groups, and attendance at burn survivor camps all contribute to recovery.

In addition to survivors injured by thermal burns, scalding liquids and chemicals, the picnic included several current and former patients who were treated for the skin disorders Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and Toxic Epidermal Necrolysis, systemic allergic reactions characterized by a severe rash involving the skin and mucous membranes that requires treatment similar to burns.

The UCI Health Regional Burn Center is the only burn treatment program in Orange County and one of the few in Southern California verified by the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, and certified by the California Children’s Services program.

The center treats the majority of the county’s serious wound injuries both in the hospital and its outpatient offices at UC Irvine Medical Center.