TO HELL AND BACK

A NEW YORK HOSPITAL BURN UNIT BRINGS SPECIALISTS TOGETHER TO TREAT PAIN-RACKED PATIENTS WHO HAVE BEEN

It happens in an instant, but the scars and psychological damage can last a lifetime. An inquisitive child pulls at the handle of a pot on the stove and is scalded by a cascade of boiling water. A smoker falls asleep with a lighted cigarette and is badly burned when the bedding catches fire. An eruption of caustic chemicals engulfs a worker, eating away skin and flesh. A blast of superheated air burns a fire fighter's face and damages his lungs.

Some 1.25 million Americans suffer burns every year. Most of them quickly recover, both physically and mentally, with permanent damage...

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