Burn, Trauma, and Critical Care
UT Southwestern Medical Center is home to the first Level I Trauma Center in Texas, established in 1988, and the UTSW burn center has been renowned since 1962 for its exceptional patient care delivered by our burn, trauma, and critical care specialists and their teams.
Experts in Burn, Trauma, and Critical Care
People who have life-threatening burns or injuries require specialized care from an expert team in a dedicated trauma center. UT Southwestern is home to Level I Trauma Centers for adults and children and has one of the largest burn units in the U.S. Our experienced trauma and burn care teams provide the highest level of intensive care for critically ill patients.
Patients in our critical care department often face life-changing circumstances. Our dedication to providing expert and compassionate care makes an important difference in our patients’ treatment and can change their outlook on the future. UT Southwestern's burn, trauma, and critical care specialists are widely known for their groundbreaking contributions to research and patient care.
The burn center admits more than 800 pediatric and adult patients each year. As the regional burn unit for North Texas, our burn center is designated as a Verified Burn Center by the American Burn Association. We provide the latest advances in treatment, and we support recovery with comprehensive burn rehabilitation services.
Injuries and Conditions We Treat
Our trauma, burn, and critical care specialists treat people with serious injuries or conditions such as:
- All types of burns (such as chemical, electrical, or radiation) and scalds
- All levels of burns (first-, second-, and third-degree)
- Brain, spine, or spinal cord injuries
- Cardiac events such as heart attack
- Central nervous system crisis
- Complex bone fractures
- Complications from surgery
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
- Facial trauma
- Gunshot or stab wounds
- Multisystem organ failure
- Respiratory (breathing) failure
- Severe injuries from vehicle accidents, falls, sports, natural disasters, or workplace incidents
Our Burn, Trauma, and Critical Care Specialty Areas
Our goal is to help patients achieve their highest level of function by attending to their physical, psychological, social, and vocational needs. Our physicians work closely with a team of experts to discuss each patient’s condition and determine the best treatment plan, tailored to individual needs.
Once our team decides on treatment, we provide patients with the most sophisticated technology and surgical techniques available. Our medical services include:
What to Expect
We have a dedicated group of specialists who guide patients from admission to discharge. Patients in the trauma center are seen and evaluated by the attending trauma surgeon (a UTSW doctor), trauma resident team (UTSW surgery residents), UTSW medical students, and trauma nurse clinicians. If needed, patients are escorted to our acute care area to ensure a seamless care experience.
Patients receive multidisciplinary support after treatment from UT Southwestern experts such as:
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Child life specialists
Parkland Memorial Hospital includes a state-of-the-art rehabilitation facility operated by UT Southwestern Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation doctors. We also have chaplain services and other emotional support professionals available to patients and their families.
Our trauma specialists are involved in a variety of clinical trials to improve patient care and outcomes. These include trials for:
- Acute kidney disease
- Blood transfusion products
- Factors that affect blood clotting
Our active research support team includes UTSW Ph.D. researchers, research nurses, statisticians, and research technicians. The Division of General and Acute Care Surgery meets weekly to discuss research projects and coordinate efforts. We also participate in Department of Surgery meetings where ideas can be discussed among a wider group.
In additional to clinical research, our core lab has been involved in the longest-running burn center grant to advance the science of treating burns.