Health Watch - Emergency: Disaster Response

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about responding to emergencies. Previously, a plastic surgeon shared tips on treating minor wounds to avoid scarring. When it comes to major disasters, plastic surgeons also have a role to play.

Dr. Rod Rohrich, chairman of plastic surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says plastic surgeons should be involved with planning for and responding to major disasters. Plastic surgeons have expertise in dealing with facial injuries, burns, soft-tissue trauma and injuries affecting the extremities — all of which are common in disasters. Plastic surgeons also have expertise in tissue viability and microcirculation, which can be crucial in preserving limbs. The experience with burns applies to radiation, biological and fire disasters and can help in triaging patients.

Visit www.utsouthwestern.org/plasticsurgery to learn more about UT Southwestern’s clinical services in plastic surgery.

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November 2009


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