New St. Vincent centers aid burn, pediatric trauma patients


Ascension St. Vincent has expanded its capability to treat burn victims and pediatric trauma patients.

The flagship campus at 86th Street in Indianapolis opened a new Adult and Pediatric Burn Center Sept. 20. On the same day, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital at Ascension St. Vincent celebrated the opening of its Pediatric Trauma Center.

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Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs

Dr. Jeffrey Gibbs and registered nurse Jeanie Leggett will lead the burn center.

Gibbs said the advantage of having a burn center at St. Vincent’s Hospital is that the hospital also is an adult and pediatric trauma center. 

“Therefore, the full spectrum of traumatic injuries can be cared for under one roof,” Gibbs said.

In addition, Gibbs said there is an eight-bed ICU for burn patients. It will provide access to same-day care with a seven-room clinic that can accommodate various wound care procedures and dressing changes.

“We have two hydrotherapy rooms in the burn unit as well as a designated physical therapy room,” Gibbs said. “This allows the burn patient’s care to be centralized in one space rather than having to travel throughout the hospital. This way a dedicated team of clinicians, nurses and therapists come to them.”

Gibbs said prior to the opening of the St. Vincent’s Burn Center, adult burn patients were sent to the Eskenazi Burn Center and pediatric patients were sent to the Riley Burn Center.

“In the unfortunate event that a family is involved in a house fire, the entire family can be treated together in the Ascension St. Vincent Burn Center,” Gibbs said. “Mom and dad can be placed next to their children in the burn unit. We believe this will allow families to heal quicker both physically and emotionally when their loved ones are close to them. The patients will stay in the burn unit together whether they are critically ill or have minor burns. Patients do not leave the burn unit until they are ready for discharge.

“In addition to this, we have adult and pediatric trauma teams, so that if they have any injuries besides the burn, they can be treated as well.”

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Dr. Brett Engbrecht

The Pediatric Trauma Center is led by Dr. Brett Engbrecht, a pediatric surgeon who is serving as the medical director of the center, and registered nurse Abby Adkins, a program manager.

“For over 10 years, St. Vincent has had an Adult Trauma Center,” Engbrecht said. “In the trauma world, adult is 15 years and older. That would include any kind of injury, including the most serious injuries. Now, the Pediatric Trauma Center will take care of anyone 14 years and younger. We did get minor trauma before like broken bones and injuries for pediatric patients, but what this does is open us up to receive patients in car accidents with severe, life-threatening injuries. The advantage if you have a car accident with parents and children injured (is), all the family can come to one hospital system. They don’t have to be spread to different buildings and different campuses. If a family comes to visit, they can visit everybody under one roof.”

There are two resuscitation bays to take care of trauma patients. There are 17 rooms in the emergency department.

“We can admit patients into the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit or onto one of the pediatric floors,” Engbrecht said. “It’s all in Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, completely separate from the adult part of the hospital.”

In the past, Engbrecht said patients under 14 with serious injuries would have to be transferred to another hospital with a pediatric trauma center.

Engbrecht said the most common pediatric trauma is caused by falling.

“Whether that’s little kids falling down stairs or falling out of windows or shopping carts,” Engbrecht said.

“Car accidents are also quite frequent. It would also include assaults, gunshot wounds, sports injuries. There are things like dog bites. It’s pretty much any trauma mechanism.”