US ex­pert lauds ini­tial treat­ment of burn vic­tims

The China Post - - LOCAL -

Quick and pro­fes­sional ac­tion taken by Tai­wanese med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als treat­ing hun­dreds of vic­tims fol­low­ing an ex­plo­sion at a wa­ter park in New Taipei June 27 is di­rectly re­spon­si­ble for the rel­a­tively low num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties to date, an Amer­i­can burns ex­pert who vis­ited Tai­wan to ad­vise on re­lated treat­ment said Fri­day.

“By the time we were out there, it was three and a half weeks into the dis­as­ter,” said Stephen Maxwell Mil­ner, di­rec­tor of the Johns Hop­kins Burn Cen­ter, at a news con­fer­ence in Washington, D.C. hosted by Tai­wan’s Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the U.S. Shen Lyu-shun ( ).

The ini­tial re­sus­ci­ta­tion of all these pa­tients con­trib­uted to the small num­ber of fa­tal­i­ties in the wake of the in­ci­dent, he said, while prais­ing Tai­wan’s health care sys­tem for do­ing “a mag­nif­i­cent job.”

About 500 peo­ple who at­tended the June 27 party at the Formosa Fun Coast wa­ter park ( ) in New Taipei were in­jured when col­ored corn starch pow­der thrown into the crowd ex­ploded, en­gulf­ing par­ty­go­ers, most of them in their teens and 20s, in flames.

A to­tal of 281 burn vic­tims re­main in hos­pi­tals around Tai­wan, in­clud­ing 133 in in­ten­sive care units, ac­cord­ing to the latest sta­tis­tics re­leased by the Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare. Ten peo­ple have died of their in­juries and 95 con­tinue to be listed as in crit­i­cal con­di­tion, the min­istry added.

Fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent, Mil­ner headed a group of six U.S. burns ex­perts that vis­ited Tai­wan in July to of­fer ad­vice and share ex­pe­ri­ences in treat­ing burn vic­tims.

To ex­press grat­i­tude to the U.S. ex­perts, Shen in­vited them to a ban­quet at Twin Oaks Es­tate — the for­mer res­i­dence of Re­pub­lic of China am­bas­sadors to the U. S.

Also at Fri­day’s news con­fer­ence was Linda Ware, who shared her ex­pe­ri­ence in treat­ing burn pa­tients.

The pa­tients will now start to learn how to move again, walk again and how to feel them­selves again, as well as ad­just to the scars they have from their in­juries and learn to rein­te­grate back into so­ci­ety, said Ware, a burns re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion coun­selor at the Johns Hop­kins Burn Cen­ter.

“When you have a large burn, you need to give your­self a year to two to feel like you’re get­ting back to what you were do­ing be­fore,” she said.

How­ever, pa­tients who suf­fered more se­vere burns will take longer to get back on their feet, es­pe­cially those who have had am­pu­ta­tions or been dis­fig­ured by the fire, she added.

In ad­di­tion to U. S. ex­perts, Ja­panese med­i­cal per­son­nel also came to Tai­wan to of­fer ad­vice on the treat­ments of burn vic­tims.


Burns ex­perts from Johns Hop­kins Burn Cen­ter, Den­ver Lough, left, and Stephen Maxwell Mil­ner, cen­ter, join Tai­wan Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the U.S. Shen Lyu-shun ( ) dur­ing a news con­fer­ence at the Twin Oaks Es­tate in Washington, D.C. on Fri­day, Aug. 7.

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