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The American Burn Association (ABA) released updated Guidelines for Burn Patient Referral today.

“The ABA Guidelines for Burn Patient Referral help patients get the timely and comprehensive burn care they need by helping non-burn clinicians and emergency personnel make important care decisions,” said ABA President Ingrid Parry, MS, PT, BT-C.

The updated guidelines now include immediate consultation with consideration for transfer in pediatric cases. The ABA recommends all pediatric burns may benefit from burn center referral due to pain, dressing change needs, rehabilitation, patient/caregiver needs, or non-accidental trauma.

The Guidelines for Burn Patient Referral were developed by the Organization and Delivery of Burn Care Committee (ODBC) of the ABA and approved by the Board of Trustees. “The recommendations contained within these guidelines are meant to foster relationships and facilitate the creation of processes necessary within each community to ensure optimal outcomes for those who sustain burn injuries,” said Board Member and ODBC Chair Victor Joe, MD, MBA.

These guidelines assist in building the proper referral network within the local healthcare community but are not meant to be definitive care recommendations. Local and regional infrastructure, resources, and relationships may determine the necessity and timeliness of burn center referral.

“We want to make sure our patients are receiving appropriate burn care and that our local relationships with firefighters, paramedics, emergency departments, and referring physicians are collaborative,” said ODBC Deputy Chair Kathleen Romanowski, MD. “We hope that these guidelines open the lines of communication between providers to best serve burn injured patients.”

Drs. Romanowski and Joe are authors of the Journal of Burn Care & Research article Updating the Burn Center Referral Criteria: Results from the 2018 eDelphi Consensus Study, which was used to craft the new guidelines.

Access the new guidelines on the ABA website at

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