Research found that more than 250 adult patients, and as many children, are admitted annually to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital with severe burns. Many are treated as out-patients.
These burn cases are associated with the socio-economic profile of a community similar to Soweto.
The absence of a specialised burn unit made the effective treatment of serious burns extremely difficult.
In line with ongoing investment projects, the Johnson & Johnson Group of Companies have embarked on a special health care project at Baragwanath Hospital. By providing the Johnson & Johnson Burn Treatment Centre the company has enabled the hospital to provide specialised care to selected patients with serious burns and their systemic complications.
The benefits of this project include:
The R3 million unit comprises:
The unit was officially opened on 17 January 1991, and the first patients were admitted on 1 April 1991. The unit is regarded as the best burn Treatment Centre in Africa.
Children admitted to this unit are mostly children under the age of 9 years, with fresh burns, not older than 24 hours.
In February 1995, the Paediatric Burn Unit addition to the Johnson & Johnson Burn Treatment Centre was opened to receive patients.
Although this unit is sometimes full, it is never allowed to become overcrowded, due to the high risk of infection. If beds are required for fresh cases, those patients who are improving are either transferred to another ward or discharged, if possible.
Most of the burns occur during the winter months, eg the average admission for December is 15, while in March it increases to 19 and during July can become as high as 32.
The most general causes for burns are hot water and hot beverages, whilst the more severe burns are caused by burst kerosene stoves.