How prepared are we to handle burn patients after 9/11?

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PHOENIX - It's been nearly ten years and Daniel M. Caruso, chief of burn services at Arizona’s Burn Center in Maricopa County can still remember a phone call he got right after 9/11.

“I remember driving down the 51 freeway and I was getting calls from the military and burn centers out of Chicago asking if we had any empty beds. I said no, we have 19 beds and they are all full,” said Caruso.
 
The state’s burn center had just 19 beds across the state for its burn victims.
 
Fast forward nearly a decade, there are now 150 burn trauma beds in hospital’s around Arizona for an emergency, thanks to technology.
 
A system was created after 9/11 called Telemedicine.
 
Caruso can now help care for burn patients all around Arizona using Telemedicine, a virtual way to chat with doctors from other hospitals.
 
“If we have a disaster in Arizona, multiple hospitals could call in and show us their patients, and I can help direct their care remotely,” said Caruso.
 
He said the burn center has come a long way since the Twin Towers came tumbling down.
 
“In our state we are obviously 500 percent more ready than we were before,” Caruso said.
 
The Phoenix-metro is now leading the way, teaching other state's how to use the virtual world to help burn patients.
 
“This system is already being built by the folks in Utah and Oregon but very few states have gotten to this sophistication,” Caruso said.