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Shriners Hospitals for Children’s response to children burned in Guatemala volcano eruption

Shriners Hospitals for Children’s response to children burned in Guatemala volcano eruption

Media briefing: June 7, 2018; 10:00 a.m.

  • Within 24 hours of the volcano eruption, Shriners Hospitals for Children sent an emergency medical “go team” of pediatric burn physicians and nurses to Guatemala to provide care to children with life-threatening burn injuries. This is an effort that has been deployed previously for other natural disasters as a response to our global commitment to children around the world.
  • Members of the Shriners International fraternity in Guatemala helped the team navigate various hospitals where the children were being treated and assisted in moving the children to a centralized hospital to await transportation to our burn center in Galveston, Texas.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children worked closely with the United States Southern Command and other military commands, including the Army and Air Force, the Guatemalan military and embassy, the U.S. embassy, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and the U.S. State Department to arrange medical visas and transportation to the United States.
  • Six children, accompanied by 5 guardians, left Guatemala early Thursday morning, arriving in Galveston this morning [June 7, 2018] at 4:40 a.m. CDT via U.S. military transport.
  • The six children were immediately admitted to our pediatric intensive care unit (ICU) with life-threatening burn injuries. A multidisciplinary team is providing all aspects of burn care, including surgery, treatment, rehabilitation and psychological support.
  • Due to patient confidentiality, we cannot share any more information regarding the children’s ages, genders or their medical conditions. We will share more information as it becomes available and as soon as we are legally able to do so.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children stands ready to help other Guatemalan children if needed. A second emergency medical team from our hospital in Boston is on stand-by to travel to Guatemala. Our other burn centers in Sacramento and Cincinnati are also on stand-by.
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children has established a dedicated phone number and website for those who wish to help the children from Guatemala: call toll-free 855-393-7447 or go to
  • Since the 1960s, Shriners Hospitals for Children has contributed to most of the significant advancements in acute and reconstructive pediatric burn care. Our staff is world-renowned for their expertise in critical pediatric specialty care, particularly in techniques that may help save the life of a patient with severe burn injuries. Shriners Hospitals for Children is often sought out to respond to fires and natural disasters across the globe.
  • Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children has treated more than 1.3 million children from more than 180 countries. 
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children is changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research and outstanding medical education. Our locations in the United States, Canada and Mexico provide advanced care for children with orthopaedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. All care is provided regardless of the families’ ability to pay. Learn more at
  • Shriners Hospitals for Children is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and relies on the generosity of donors. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law. 

Brief remarks offered by: Steven E. Wolf, M.D. | Chief of Staff, Shriners’ Hospital for Children — Galveston

Contact: Mel Bower | Chief Communications and Marketing Officer | 813-233-6836

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