Qatar’s only dedicated Burns Unit, located at Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Al Wakra Hospital, has cared for over 6,400 patients at its outpatient clinics so far this year. As of November 2019, staff at the Unit also cared for more than 80 pediatric patients who were treated in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, over 180 patients who required surgical intervention, and more than 200 patients who received reconstructive burn treatment at Al Wakra Hospital’s Plastic Surgery Division.
“Caring for patients who have been burned is complex as a burn injury can be one of the most severe forms of trauma. Patients with burn injuries often present with unique clinical, psychological, and social challenges,” said Ms. Parwaneh Al Shibani, Assistant Executive Director of Nursing at Al Wakra Hospital.
Ms. Al Shibani explained that caring for patients with burn injuries is so complex because, in addition to the serious nature of the injury and the patient’s discomfort, and recovery, can be challenged by psychological and social factors, such as fears around their employment being comprised, the loss of income, and uncertainty about the future. Ms. Al Shibani said Al Wakra Hospital’s Burns Unit is unique in that it provides patients with multi-disciplinary care.
“The complexity and rarity of burn injuries makes delivering burn care a specialized service. To achieve the best possible clinical outcome for patients with burn injuries, their care must be delivered by expert multi-disciplinary teams who are specialized in burn services,” said Ms. Al Shibani.
“The care a patient needs depends upon the severity of the burn. More serious injuries will require treatment by a larger multi-disciplinary team. Patients treated at the Burns Unit at Al Wakra Hospital are supported around the clock by physicians from more than a dozen medical and surgical specialties, including neurosurgery, vascular surgery, and psychiatry, as well as nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, dietitians, psychologists, and social workers. We work together as a team to assess a patient’s injuries and develop the most appropriate course of care,” added Ms. Al Shibani.
The Burns Unit at Al Wakra Hospital was relocated from Rumailah Hospital in 2014 as part of HMC’s efforts to transform many of its key clinical services in response to managing the healthcare requirements of Qatar’s growing population. Situated over two floors, the Burns Unit has a dedicated operating room, inpatient rooms, an occupational therapy room, consulting rooms for outpatients, and reception and recovery spaces.
Ms. Al Shibani says there are plans to introduce new services at the Unit in the coming months, specifically fat grafting and laser therapy to treat patients with burn scars. She says while the focus of her work in caring for those who’ve been burned, preventing burns from happening in the first place is also part of the service provided by the Unit.
“In addition to the burn care provided by our specialized team, we also work closely with government agencies, including the General Directorate of Civil Defense, the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, and Primary Health Care Corporation, as part of our program to prevent burn injuries,” added Ms. Al Shibani.