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National Burn Awareness Week Shines Light on Prevention of Burn Injuries

Nearly half of all house fires originate from cooking incidents, and roughly 450,000 medical visits occur every year for burn injuries

Santa Clara County, Calif. – Santa Clara Valley Healthcare is reminding the public that February 4-10 is National Burn Awareness Week and urging everyone to do their part in eliminating preventable burn injuries. Leading causes of burns include in-home cooking, barbeques, fire pits, fireworks, vaping, and smoking (especially when on Oxygen Therapy at home). 

According to the American Burn Association and National Fire Protection Association, cooking was the leading cause of 49% of house fires. Approximately 450,000 medical visits occur annually for burn related injuries, and 4,500 Americans die every year. Many of these injuries and deaths are to children. 

Safety is of the utmost importance with regard to kitchen related burns. In the event of a cooking fire, the pan and stove should immediately be covered or quenched with a fire extinguisher, and the public is reminded to quickly turn off the heat source and never use water on an oil-based fire.

“So many of the burn patients we treat come from incidents that can easily be prevented,” said Dr. Clifford Sheckter, Director of the Regional Burn Center for Santa Clara Valley Healthcare. “A lot of people focus on fire and burn safety around July 4th, but most burns originate around the house year-round. We are proud to provide world-class burn care to treat those who are injured, but we take as much pride in educating the public not to become one of our patients.”  

Within Silicon Valley, occupational hazards are a significant contributor to severe burn cases and that can include risk associated with high voltage power lines and EV car manufacturing. Chemical burns from hydrofluoric acid are a unique exposure in the Bay Area due to chip etching and working with semiconductors. Additional safety is encouraged for food truck workers to follow protective guidelines in tight locations.
Home oxygen therapy is standard for advanced COPD. However, flammable materials, especially smoking and cooking can ignite home oxygen tanks and cause massive explosions. Home oxygen therapy burns are five times more likely to need a long-term ventilator use versus other types of burns.

For additional safety information regarding burn awareness, the public is encouraged to visit
About Santa Clara Valley Healthcare
Santa Clara Valley Healthcare (SCVH), California's second-largest County-owned health and hospital system, is comprised of three acute care hospitals, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, O’Connor Hospital, and St. Louise Regional Hospital, along with a network of primary and specialty clinics. SCVH emphasizes quality care, research, teaching, innovation, and most importantly, a focus on coordinated, compassionate and patient-centered care for every patient. Our mission is to provide high-quality, accessible healthcare and excellent service to everyone in Santa Clara County, regardless of their social-economic status or ability to pay. The Regional Burn Center is the only combined trauma/burn center for the entire San Francisco Bay Area. 

Contact: Santa Clara Valley Healthcare Media Relations, (408) 568-3122,
[email protected]

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