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Shriners Hospital


Pediatric hospital staff underscores human impact of fire

Staff at Shriners Hospital-Boston underscore the human impact of fire at NFPA's 2015 Fire Sprinkler Initiative Summit

Using vivid images and sobering statistics, staff members at Shriners Hospital Boston, a pediatric hospital known for its treatment of burn injuries, underscored the devastating impact of today's home fires.

Dr. Philip Chang, a Shriners burn surgeon, noted that the hospital has treated more than 100 home fire survivors since 2004. For many, the physical and emotional rehabilitation lasts years. "Everyday, we see the effects of burn injuries," said Chang. "In a recent case, a patient was screaming everyday due to the anxiety of the flashbacks."

Chang also highlighted the painstaking treatment of the hospital's home fire survivors. A seven-year-old girl burned in a recent Connecticut home fire acquired burns on a third of her body and has already undergone eight surgical operations. The patient will likely need a number of reconstructive procedures over the years, said Chang, adding that home fire sprinklers can reduce these horrific tragedies. 

Complementing Chang's anecdotes was a presentation by Shriners music therapist Annette Whitehead-Pleaux. She played songs created by child burn survivors that underscore the grief and heartache many of the patients experience post-fire. 

Watch the snippet from Chang's presentation: