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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


West Penn Burn Center Reminds You to Stay Safe During the Holiday Season

Monday, December 13th, 2010

The holiday season is upon us, with its delicious food, festive holiday lights, scented candles and the cozy crackling of flames in the fireplace. The holidays are a special time, and while these activities are meant to be fun for the whole family, West Penn Burn Center reminds everyone to take extra caution when cooking, decorating and burning indoor fires.

Keep yourself and your loved ones safe this winter by putting the following tips into practice!

When cooking:
• Stay close when frying, grilling or broiling food; leaving food unattended while cooking is a leading factor in kitchen fires.
• Keep children out of the kitchen when the parents are cooking.
• In the event of a fire, “When in doubt, just get out.”

When using a fireplace:
• Always use a mesh metal screen to cover the fire and leave glass doors open.
• Have your chimney inspected and cleaned annually.
• DO NOT quicken a fire with kerosene or gasoline.
• Use only seasoned hardwood to make a fire. Never use soft, moist wood or other materials like cardboard boxes or trash.
• Before you go to bed, check your fireplace to be sure the fire is out.
• Never close your damper with hot ashes in the fireplace.

When burning candles:
• Put candles in stable holders and place them where they cannot be knocked down or blown over.
• Never burn candles on or near a Christmas tree.
• Never leave the house or go to sleep with candles burning.

When decorating:
• Use only non-combustible or flame-resistant materials.
• Inspect holiday lights for frayed wires, bare spots, cracked sockets and excessive wear.
• Never place your tree close to a heat source or smoke near a tree. Toss out a live tree after two weeks, and keep it hydrated while it is in your house.
• Keep your smoke detectors in good working order and keep a fire extinguisher in your home.

Remember: there is no substitute for common sense. Look for and eliminate potential danger spots near candles, fireplaces, trees and/or electrical connections. For more seasonal safety tips, visit www.westpennburncenter.com.

About West Penn Burn Center
Established in 1969, West Penn Burn Center is the first and only burn program in the region to receive verification honors from the American College of Surgeons and the American Burn Association, and is the only burn center in Pennsylvania to have earned verification honors five times. West Penn Burn Center celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009 under the leadership of Medical Director Larry Jones, MD; Associate Medical Director Roger Barrette, MD; and surgeon Ariel Aballay, MD.

West Penn Burn Center treats more than 1,000 patients a year from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland and New York. The burn center is fully equipped with state-of-the-art medical systems, special equipment for treating burns, 14 private rooms including six critical care rooms, a family waiting room and a children’s playroom.

Every patient admitted to West Penn Burn Center has a dedicated team of professionals to meet their needs, including specialized medical care, emotional and psychological counseling, nutrition planning and physical therapy. In addition to the medical staff, other key members of the team include Nurse Manager Esther Atwood, MSN, RN, NE-BC; Director, Nursing and Clinical Education Kathy A. Clouse, RN-BC, BSN, MSN; Interim Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer Michele Gebhardt, RN, MSN, CCRN.

West Penn Burn Center’s Aluminum Cans for Burned Children recycling program was established in 1985, as well as the outreach “Back to School” program, both of which are still in operation to benefit burned children. The program’s Summer Camp for Burned Children celebrated its 24th session in 2010; every child age 7-17 who is treated at West Penn Burn Center can attend camp for free. With the guidance of skilled professionals, children are encouraged to meet new challenges and to take positive risks by participating in adventures, such as horseback riding and rope climbing, that help build confidence while building strong bodies.

West Penn Burn Center also opened an Outpatient Services Center in 2009 to provide initial care for minor burns and follow-up care for serious burns for patients of all ages. The outpatient facility is located in suite 2307 in West Penn Hospital’s North Tower.

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