Medical Professionals Worry Frigid Temps Could Bring More House - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Medical Professionals Worry Frigid Temps Could Bring More House Fires, Victims

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TULSA, Oklahoma -

The past week has seen several house fires, leaving many in the hospital.  

It's a dangerous time of year with everyone trying to stay warm and with an arctic blast on the way, medical professionals are concerned that there could be more fires. 

News On 6 toured the Alexander Burn Center at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa, the only burn unit in northeast Oklahoma. 

We learned that every room is full right now. 

One foot in front of the other; that's what it takes to heal at the Alexander Burn Center at Hillcrest Medical Center in Tulsa and right now it's full of burn victims. 

"We are spilling over the edges with a lot of different types of burns a lot of them trying to stay warm," said Burn Medical Director Dr. Tara Wilson.  

Wilson has been the Medical Director for a couple years and said this is the busiest she's ever seen her unit. 

"When we see frigid temperatures people have to look to ways to stay warm," she said. 

Wilson said those ways often involve unsafe options like the use of a space heater or oven to stay warm; more than half of the victims there right now were in a house fire. 

"They are struggling to stay warm and so we tend not to have anger towards the patients but want to try to help educate them to prevent it from happening again," said Wilson.  

According to the American Burn Association across the country, burn injuries are one of the leading causes of unintentional deaths. 

A person dies in a fire every two and a half hours. Guys are twice as likely as women to get burned. And tragically children and the disabled make up 24% of all burn injuries. 

The recovery process can take weeks, months, even years.

"The general rule of thumb from a hospitalization burn patient is for every percent burn is about a day in the hospital," said Wilson. 

Wilson admits she's concerned about the weather turning colder Thursday. 
    
She said it's easy to prevent becoming a burn victim by double-checking your heating source and making sure that if you are using a space heater, keep it away from anything that can cause a fire and away from pets and kids who can easily knock them over. 

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