US expert lauds initial treatment of burn victims
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.