Houston Chronicle

4 Guatemalan burn victims remain in critical condition

- By Nick Powell nick.powell@chron.com

Four of the six children airlifted from Guatemala for treatment in Galveston after being severely burned during the eruption of a volcano are in critical condition, a hospital spokesman said Monday.

A statement released by Shriners Hospital for Children in Galveston updated the condition of the six children admitted last week after the Volcán de Fuego eruption on June 3. Four of the six children are in critical condition, while two are in good condition.

“The families of these children and the staff of Shriners Hospitals for Children greatly appreciate the overwhelmi­ng outpouring of love and concern from the public,” said Mel Bower, chief communicat­ions and marketing officer for the hospital, in a statement. “We ask, however, that no visitors come to the hospital as the focus remains on the intense care, treatment and recovery of these children.”

The six children and their guardians arrived in Galveston on June 7 via military transport and were immediatel­y admitted to the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit with life-threatenin­g burn injuries. “Severe” burns usually mean that more than 15 percent of the patient’s body has been burned, but hospital officials declined to specify the exact percentage­s for the six children.

Dr. Steven Wolf, the hospital’s chief of staff, said the children face months and possibly years of recovery. The general recovery timeline for burns is one day in the hospital per half-percent burn.

A multidisci­plinary team at Shriners is providing all aspects of burn care for the children, including surgery, treatment, rehabilita­tion and psychologi­cal support. The names of the patients, all 16 or younger, are not being released due topatient confidenti­ality.

Those who would like to show support for the children are encouraged to visit the hospital’s website to see how to help or make a donation.

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