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Private plastic surgeons urged to help treat burn victims

Private plastic surgeons urged to help treat burn victims

Taipei, July 1 (CNA) The Taiwan Society for Burn Injuries and Wound Healing on Wednesday issued a call for more plastic surgeons in private practice to lend their services to the effort of treating the hundreds of people who were injured in a flash fire at a water park in New Taipei last weekend. Dai Niann-tzy (???), president of the society, said local hospitals trying to treat the large number of burn patients are faced with a shortage of specialists in plastic and reconstructive surgery and thus are finding it impossible to keep up with the demand for such services. The injuries sustained in the incident, which occurred June 27 at Formosa Coast Water Park, have exposed the problems at many hospitals in Taiwan, he said. Noting that some private plastic surgeons are already volunteering their services at hospitals treating victims of the fire, Dai called on more plastic surgeons and reconstructive surgery specialists to lend a helping hand. Dai, a plastic surgeon himself, also suggested that the Ministry of Health and Welfare allow hospitals to recruit more residents who specialize in reconstructive surgery, as the annual recruitment number currently stands at only 23 per hospital. He said the burn units at most local hospitals are not equipped to cope with the approximately 500 patients who sustained burns at the water park last Saturday. In fact, throughout the whole country, there are only 128 beds for burn patients, and 167 intensive care burn units for those requiring surgery, Dai said. With hospitals in northern Taiwan strained to the limit at the moment as a result of the fire, some in central and southern Taiwan and the Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center can take another 15-20 burn patients in total, he said. Since Saturday, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Tri-Service General Hospital, and the two MacKay Memorial hospitals have each been treating 40-60 patients who sustained moderate to severe burns in the fire, and the operating rooms at those hospitals have been in service around-the-clock, Dai said. He suggested that hospitals convert some of their surgical wards to burn treatment wards and use their surgical intensive care units to accommodate patients with severe burns, in light of the shortage of facilities. Dai also warned that wound infection could become a risk, four days after the injuries were sustained. He said his society is calling for a meeting with medical personnel from Tri-Service General Hospital, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei Veterans General Hospital and National Cheng Kung University Hospital, and also with the Sunshine Social Welfare Foundation, to discuss ways of preventing wound infection. (By Chen Ching-fang and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-28 15:58 GMT+08:00