• The only Burn centre in Singapore refurbished with custom-built operating theatres and high-dependency rooms to cater to more patients

Singapore, 15 August 2019 – The upgraded Singapore General Hospital (SGH) Burn Centre was unveiled today at the opening ceremony of the 12th Asia Pacific Burn Congress, co-organised by SGH’s Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery and the Association for Burn Injuries Singapore. The event was officiated by Guest-of Honour, Dr Lam Pin Min, Senior Minister of State, Ministry of Health.

Themed “Burn Care Excellence through Multidisciplinary Teamwork”, the international Congress held in Singapore at Academia, SGH Campus will see more than 500 local and overseas practitioners and experts from 22 countries participate in the three-day programme.

Upgraded Facility to Boost Burn Care Capabilities

Established in 1962, the SGH Burn Centre has been the major burns referral centre for Southeast Asia, providing specialised and multidisciplinary care for patients suffering from severe burns injuries, from point of injury to post-hospital rehabilitation.

“The upgraded facility will enable us to cater to both current and anticipated needs as well as respond more readily during mass burns incidents,” said Professor Fong Kok Yong, Deputy Group CEO (Medical & Clinical Services), SingHealth, and Chairman, Medical Board, SGH.

Equipped with custom-built Operating Theatres (OT) and High-Dependency (HD) and isolation rooms that can be converted into Intensive Care Unit (ICU) wards, the upgraded Centre features a modular design, which allows either side of the facility to be closed off during a mass burns incident to reduce the risk of cross contamination between existing and new patients.

"The new modular layout is especially important for patients recovering from severe burns who are more susceptible to infections from multidrug resistant organisms,” said Associate Professor Ong Yee Siang, Head & Senior Consultant, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, SGH.

The flexibility to convert the HD and isolation rooms into ICU wards when needed also allows the Centre to maximise care delivery based on the condition and needs of inpatients.

Custom-Built Operating Theatres for Burns Patients

The Centre’s OTs feature a climate control system custom-built to ensure optimal humidity of less than 45 per cent and temperature of 26-28 degrees Celsius during skin grafting and reconstructive surgery. The strictly-controlled low-humidity environment prevents bacteria growth, while the warm temperature lowers patients’ risk of hypothermia due to extensive skin destruction or loss.

The OTs are also designed to support procedural and team-based training to enable medical, nursing and allied health staff to train and practise new surgical techniques and procedures together in a realistic setting. The facility is ‘wired’ to provide live streaming and recording of actual or simulated surgeries to facilitate learning across borders.

Asia Pacific Burn Association Releases New Guidelines on Skin Banking

At the Congress, the Asia Pacific Burn Association (APBA) announced a new set of skin banking guidelines developed to ensure common safety standards and practices for skin donor screening, recovery, processing, storage and distribution across the region.

The guidelines serve to expedite the exchange of donated skin during a crisis and facilitate closer collaboration between APBA members including Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.