Seattle Center for Burn Treatment Announced

"Getting the right care at the right time is crucial for these catastrophically injured workers," said Joel Sacks, director of L&I. "We hope to make their recovery better and a little easier by improving access to specialists."

Washington state's Department of Labor & Industries and Seattle-based Harborview Medical Center announced a new center of excellence for medical care for burns. Their new agreement expands workers' access to a range of specialists who will collaborate throughout the worker's recovery, according to the Aug. 18 announcement, which says hundreds of workers in Washington state each year are burned on the job so severely that they require specialized medical care, and that care is essential to their recovery and return to work.

"Getting the right care at the right time is crucial for these catastrophically injured workers," said Joel Sacks, director of L&I. "We hope to make their recovery better and a little easier by improving access to specialists."

"The new Center of Excellence for Burns will help us streamline multi-disciplinary care to Washington's workers who sustain devastating burns," added Dr. Nicole Gibran, director of the Regional Burn Center at Harborview Medical Center, part of University of Washington Medicine. "By coordinating care with providers who understand burn injuries, we facilitate physical and psychological recovery."

According to L&I, national data has shown nearly 50 percent of adult burn patients do not return to work two years after injury, and 28 percent never return to work. But a recent study in the Journal of Burn Care & Research showed 93 percent of workers with work-related burns who were treated at the UW Medicine Regional Burn Center at Harborview returned to work on average 24 days after injury.

To streamline care for burned workers insured by L&I, a group of highly trained staff from the agency manages catastrophic claims. They will coordinate closely with UW Medicine and with staff wherever workers continue treatment.

The new center is part of an L&I project to improve care for catastrophically injured workers. It is the second center of excellence; the first, for amputations, was established in early 2016.

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