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Home : News : News
NEWS | Jan. 29, 2021

USAISR Burn Center raises awareness for National Burn Awareness Week

By David DeKunder 502nd Air Base Wing Public Affairs

The U.S. Army Institute of Surgical Research Burn Center at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston is joining the American Burn Association in raising awareness and prevention of electrical burn injuries during National Burn Awareness Week Feb. 7-13.

USAISR will be providing information and tips about electrical burn injuries, prevention and what to do if someone is injured by an electrical burn through educational slides on electronic display screens located at the burn center and Brooke Army Medical Center.

National Burn Awareness Week is observed annually the first full week of February by the American Burn Association, or ABA, providing an opportunity for organizations and burn, fire and life safety educators to share a common message of burn awareness and prevention in communities across the U.S.

The educational slides will follow the theme for National Burn Awareness Week, “Electrical Safety from Amps to Zap (A to Z)!” Starting Feb. 7, each day of the week will have a different slide covering four letters of the alphabet, starting with the letter A, with the last two letters of the alphabet being covered Feb. 13.

“The slides will give an example of some common electrical precautions that you might possibly come in contact with for each letter of the alphabet,” said Brent Sabatino, USAISR Burn Strong outreach and injury/ prevention coordinator. “For example, ‘A’ is for appliances, ‘B’ is for batteries. Each letter will have good information on how to use precaution when dealing with electrical items in the household as well as things you might possibly work with.”

According to ABA, electrical injuries account for approximately four percent of burn patients treated at burn centers annually across the United States. Sabatino said this nationwide statistic is close to the same percentage of burn patients whose injuries are electrical-related who are treated annually at the USAISR Burn Center.

Sabatino said most electrical injuries that occur usually involve people working with outlets, lighting, generators, air conditioning units or coming in contact with live electrical wiring, be it from a cherry picker bucket, new construction or remodeling, tree trimming, digging or when dealing with unknown electrical energy sources.

Before proceeding to work on or around any kind of electrical equipment, Sabatino said people should take safety precautions to prevent getting electrocuted or injured from electrical burns.

“It is always best to hire a licensed electrician when possible, for any electrical projects around the home,” Sabatino said. “Accidents still do happen regardless, it really is all about taking every safety precaution possible when dealing with electricity.”

Sabatino said if you are injured by an electrical shock or burn and are coherent, call 911 and have medical personnel check you out. If you find someone who has been electrocuted and is not conscious and has no pulse, call 911 for them and begin CPR. If attempting to help an electrical burn injury victim, make sure the area around them is safe for you to enter by checking to see if there is any live wiring, sparks or water by the patient.

Sabatino said injuries caused by electrical burns may not appear externally on the body, but are more serious because those injuries cause damage internally to muscles and bones and can cause the heart to defibrillate or stop, or cause a heart arrhythmia later on. He said these are the reasons why the ABA recommends that electrical burn patients be taken to a burn center immediately to be checked out.

Resources and information about electrical and other burn injuries can be found on the ABA website at, the USAISR Facebook page and at