Burn survivors return to UCI Medical Center for annual summer picnic
Picnic, peer-to-peer support groups and attendance at burn survivor camps all contribute to recovery
August 11, 2023
Orange, Calif. — More than 100 burn survivors and their families attended the UCI Health Regional Burn Center’s annual summer picnic Thursday, which featured games and a bounce slide, back-to-school items and food provided by UCI Health Culinary Services.
“The UCI Health burn program’s 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, a UCI Health trauma and critical care surgeon and director of the UCI Health Regional Burn Center.
The survivors’ picnic was the first held at UCI Medical Center since before the COVID-19 pandemic began.
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 center treats patients with skin disorders such Stevens-Johnson Syndrome and toxic epidermal necrolysis, a systemic allergic reaction characterized by skin loss due to severe rash involving the skin and mucous membranes that require treatment similar to that of burns.
The UCI Health Regional Burn Center is the largest burn treatment program in Orange County. It is one of the few in Southern California verified by the American Burn Association. The program is also accredited by the California Children’s Services.
The center treats many of the county’s most serious wound injuries in the region’s only level 1 trauma center, burn intensive care unit and its outpatient center at UCI Medical Center. Recently, the burn intensive care unit received the Gold Beacon Award for excellence from the American Association of Critical Care Nurses. It is one of only three burn ICUs in the country to earn this designation.
As part of a world-class public research institution, the UCI Health burn program partners with leading clinical and scientific innovators at UCI, such as the UCI Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic in Irvine, where patients receive burn scar treatments and physicians and scientists use groundbreaking nonsurgical techniques to study the depth of burn wounds.
About UCI Health
UCI Health is the clinical enterprise of the University of California, Irvine, and the only academic health system in Orange County. Patients can access UCI Health at primary and specialty care offices across Orange County and at its main campus, UCI Medical Center in Orange, Calif. The 459-bed, acute care hospital, listed among America’s Best Hospitals by U.S. News & World Report for 23 consecutive years, provides tertiary and quaternary care, ambulatory and specialty medical clinics, behavioral health and rehabilitation services. UCI Medical Center is home to Orange County’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center, high-risk perinatal/neonatal program and American College of Surgeons-verified Level I adult and Level II pediatric trauma center and regional burn center. UCI Health serves a region of nearly 4 million people in Orange County, western Riverside County and southeast Los Angeles County. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.