Modified: October 31, 2022

When Is a Burn Victim Transferred to a Burn Center?

Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorneys

Burn centers are special medical centers where burn wounds get treated, and patients get to start their recovery program from severe burns.

However, people have ambiguity about when a burn victim is transferred to a burn center.

Unfortunately, even in such tragic situations, these things matter when claiming insurance compensation.

Before we look at some of the different requirements of burn centers, it is essential to address what these centers do.

Here are some of the reasons why burn patients may get admitted to the burn center:

  • To receive nursing care
  • To receive resuscitation when a burn injury poses breathing difficulties
  • For surgeries in the case of severe burns
  • To start the rehabilitation therapy.

What Is The Criteria For Burn ICU Admission?

To get admitted into a burn ICU, a burn patient must:

  • Have around 20% or more of their total body surface area (TBA) burned
  • Have sustained inhalation injury with the burns
  • Be part of vulnerable groups of people like young children, the elderly, and those with prior health issues.

What Is The Criteria For A Burn Center Patient Transfer?

According to the American Burn Association, not all patients are eligible for a burn center transfer as there are specific requirements such as the age of the victim, total body surface area, and more.

Burn victims younger than ten years or older than 50 are more prone to complications from burn injuries and need immediate medical attention. Any second-degree burns or higher for this group of people resulting in burns on 10% of their total body surface area (TBSA) qualify for a burn center transfer. Burn center transfer criteria for all other age groups require around 20% of the total body surface area burned.

Burn center transfer criteria for third-degree burns require the victim to have at least 5% of their total body surface area burned. Second third-degree burns that leave a victim with disfigurements get transferred to the burn center as well.

Other criteria are chemical and electrical burns, especially in the cases of lightning strikes.

Those burn injury victims with concomitant trauma pose a greater immediate risk of losing their lives and must get sent to the burn trauma center first immediately before they get transferred to a burn center. The doctor must decide according to the regional medical control plan as it can affect mortality.

Burn injury in patients with prior medical conditions also fulfills the criteria of getting sent to the burns center.

What Are Some Characteristics of Superficial, Partial, And Full-Thickness Burns?

Sometimes it can be difficult to diagnose the type of burn a victim has; however, looking at some of the characteristics can help doctors distinguish between them.

Let’s look at some of the main characteristics of the following types of burn injuries:

  • First-degree burns: Also superficial burns, these types are at the epidermis level and cause dryness, redness, swelling, and even in some cases, blisters.
  • Second-degree burns: Also superficial partial, these types are at the dermis level and cause swelling moist blisters which are extremely painful.
  • Third-degree burns: Also full-thickness, these types are at the hypodermis level and cause the skin to get charred, resembling leather. Such burns prolong recovery periods.

Where Can I Find More Burn Treatment Information In a City Near Me?

Those requiring more information or medical treatment for their burns can get details on a burn center near them by visiting the American Burn Association website and navigating to “Find a burn center.” Greater TBSA persons (total body surface area) should immediately visit a burn center near them to get a diagnosis of their condition and see if they are eligible for burn center admission.


  • Visit the ABA website
  • Navigate to “Find a Burn Center.”
  • Contact those services.

How Can a Burn Injury Lawyer Help Me?

Our burn injury lawyers have vast experience dealing with burn patients with second and third-degree burns and can help evaluate your case and determine your claims. You may be eligible for economic, non-economic, and punitive damages, and our lawyers can help calculate your claims and file a burn injury lawsuit against the negligent parties.

Contact us at (213) 596-9642 and get a free consultation today!


Top Notch American Injury Lawyer, Michael Ehline

Michael Ehline

Michael is a managing partner at the nationwide Ehline Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC. He’s an inactive Marine and became a lawyer in the California State Bar Law Office Study Program, later receiving his J.D. from UWLA School of Law. Michael has won some of the world’s largest motorcycle accident settlements.

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