The burn unit at Karolinska University Hospital expanded and moved to a new modern facility in May 2004. The new unit has six rooms with seven beds and one fully equipped operating theatre where all surgery and dressing changes for burn patients take place.
Operations are performed by the plastic surgeon and theatre staff, together with the anaesthesiologist and the anaesthesia nurse with competence in burn care.
Before opening the new unit, surgery of burn patients was performed in separate operating theatres necessitating transportation with its attendant risks of critically ill patients.
The aims of the operation activity in the burn unit are to increase the quality of burn care, to give all patients optimal wound care and to gather the burn care team and all other disciplines around the burn patient
The burn unit´s operating theatres give the possibility to perform some of the dressing changes on a shower trolley. Operations take place on an operating table. The optimal wound care includes a warm environment around the patient to prevent hypothermia during operations and dressing changes.
The operating theatre can be heated up to 40 C degrees, and a heating mattress with circulating warm air is placed under the patients to keep the patient warm and also preventing decubital ulcers.
The time between decision and operation has been decreased, as well as the number of adverse incidents during transportation and anesthesia.
A second fully equipped operating theatre is soon going to open in the burn unit with the possibility to perform two procedures at the same time. One other future possibility is to give advanced wound care to other patients with serious wound problems.