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Hopkins doctors help with massive injuries after Taiwan waterpark fire

Hopkins doctors help with massive injuries after Taiwan waterpark fire
This photo taken on June 28, 2015 shows insurance investigators checking the site of where an explosion injured hundreds of people at a water park in New Taipei City. (SAM YEH / AFPGetty Images)

A Johns Hopkins burn unit team was part of the massive effort to treat hundreds of victims in Taiwan after a massive fire was sparked by colored corn powder spewing from the stage during a rap performance in a popular waterpark.

The fire in June, which made international news, left 510 burn victims, including 24 who suffered injuries on more than 80 percent of their bodies and 257 on more than 40 percent. An American was one of the victims.

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Three weeks after the June incident, a group of Hopkins medical personnel, led by Stephen Milner, director of the Johns Hopkins Burn Center, organized a team to assist the overwhelmed doctors in Taiwan. They decided to volunteer after being contacted by the Tawainese embassy and local nurses. The team included three specialized burn doctors, one emergency room doctor, a burn unit nursing coordinator and a senior burn rehab specialist.

The team will talk about their experience at an event in Washington, D.C., on Friday.

During its stay in Taiwan, the team visited 12 hospitals and offered advice in what Milner described as a strong collaboration. For example, they advised doctors to use torniquets to stop bleeding during treatment. The Tawainese doctors were doing skin grafs using skin from people's scalp. Milner and his team suggested they take it from other areas of they body where the skin is more plentiful.

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