The Paediatric Burns unit at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital admits approximately 400 children annually. Almost 25% of the children require intensive care and the majority of burn injuries occur as a result of accidents. In winter, a large number of flame burns are prevalent in poor informal settlements.

These burn children usually require long rehabilitative hospital stays that require several operations. Infection is frequently a life-threatening complication of which small children are particularly susceptible.

The Paediatric Burns unit has a dedicated multi-disciplinary team which comprises of dedicated burn nurses, Intensive care nurses, Paediatric surgeons, Paediatric Critical Care specialists, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Dieticians, and Anaesthetists.

The Paediatric Burns unit aims to create a centre of excellence. As with many departments in Baragwanath Hospital, there are shortages of nursing staff, Paediatric surgeons, and adequate time in a shared theatre. The unit becomes overcrowded in winter and is a challenge for the nursing staff to stay motivated.

The Paediatric Burns unit wishes to better serve the community by:

  • Emphasising primary prevention of burns through community outreach and education
  • Conducting Emergency Management of Severe Burns (EMSB) Courses
  • Creating a larger unit with its own independent theatre with anaesthetic support
  • Providing a nurturing and stimulating environment to recover in
  • Recruiting and retaining nursing staff