Regional Burn Center

The Jerome L. Finkelstein, MD, Regional Burn Center: Family Focused Care

“A burn can change a life forever,” explains Dr. Michael Cooper, the surgeon who heads Staten Island University Hospital’s Jerome L. Finkelstein Regional Burn Center. This insight into the nature of burn injuries is at the root of the Burn Center’s family centered care philosophy as is the belief that each burn patient is unique.

Established in 1998, by the Center’s namesake, this 10-bedded Intensive Care Unit focuses on family centered care, giving loved ones 24-hour access to the patient’s bedside and involving the family in every aspect of the healing process.

“Burns represent two different types of disease,” said Dr. Cooper. Local burns are smaller; requiring pain medication, dressing changes and possible antibiotics. Larger burns cover more than 15% of the body; with a higher-risk of complications: breathing, damage to the lungs and heart, with high-risk of infection.

“Taking care of burn patients requires delicate care and a compassionate team of healers,” Dr. Cooper said. He pointed out that treating youngsters with burn injuries is extremely difficult, but ultimately rewarding. The center is known nationally for its treatment of pediatric burns.

The comprehensive approach taken by the clinical team is viewed as a natural extension of the hospital’s trauma services, with most burn patients admitted from the Emergency Department (ED).

The burn-trauma room in the new Elizabeth A. Connelly Emergency Trauma Center provides the burn team with everything necessary to provide care for all types of burn patients who enter through the ED.

“Everything we need is at our finger tips. When a burn patient is brought into the ED, everyone knows where to report and exactly what their role is. It’s almost muscle memory” said Dr. Cooper.

The helipad is what makes the SIUH burn center truly a regional resource. During hurricane Irene, the helipad proved essential in the evacuation of burn patients to other hospital’s in the North Shore-LIJ Health System.

The center’s staff pursues a true team concept that includes: anesthesiology, pediatrics, nursing, psychiatry, rehabilitation medicine, pulmonary care services and case management. “We are constantly examining and improving their process,” said Marc Tempesta, RN, administrative director of Burn Services.

Dr. Cooper says the future of the burn center lies in its past, “We’re beginning to look back through our case findings to publish our experiences with our colleagues in the burn community,” said Dr. Cooper. “This type of information sharing allows the burn community to care for patients the world over.”

For more information on the regional burn center, or to make an appointment for current out-patient treatment, call (718) 226-6988.

If your matter is urgent, please dial 911.