Bob Fischer couldn’t wait to be admitted to Redwood Area Hospital. After spending eight weeks as a burn patient at Hennepin County Medical C enter (HCMC) in Minneapolis, Fischer was more than ready to be close to home for continuing his treatments and therapy. The Redwood Area Hospital’s Skilled Swing Bed/Transitional C are program provided Fischer with the perfect bridge between HCMC’s acute care and home.
A Rescue Attempt Backfires
It all started on Aug. 27, 2009, when the 57-year-old farmer was severely burned in an accident in his own home mechanic shop. While cutting steel, a cardboard box inside the shop caught fire from a spark. Fischer quickly removed the box from the shop and then noticed a pail containing solvent that he frequently used to clean machinery parts had also caught fire. In attempting to remove it from the shop, his pants caught on fire burning Fischer’s lower body and right hand.
“I tried to save my shop,” recalls Fischer. “Next time, I’ll know better and try to save myself instead.”
A 20-minute medical transport helicopter ride to HCMC – the closest Level 1 Trauma Center and regional burn treatment hospital – saved his life. Fischer received emergency care for second- and third-degree burns on his lower right leg, right hand and inside left leg. His right ankle was burned down to the tendon. Fischer spent the next eight weeks at HCMC being treated for his burns.
Getting into the Transitional Care Program
Fischer’s wife, Marie, is a registered nurse and was adamant about getting her husband into the Redwood Area Hospital Swing Bed program. As an employee of the hospital, Marie knew how valuable the skilled transitional care is in getting severely injured patients well enough so that they can resume a normal level of functioning when they return home. “A physician referral is required to get into the Swing Bed program,” says Fischer. “My wife didn’t stop until she convinced my HCMC doctor that I would benefit from the program that Redwood Area Hospital offers.”
Fischer, who in addition to farming is also the police chief and mayor of Morgan, Minn., spent two weeks in the Swing Bed program continuing his burn rehabilitation under the care of family practice physician Dr. Alan Olson. During that time, the Swing Bed staff helped facilitate preparation of the Fischers’ home for Bob’s return. “They helped line up home medical care and equipment to make our home safer,” Fischer shares. “It was much easier for both me and my wife when I was able to go home.”
Fischer continues with his rehabilitation and recovery process by participating in the Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs at Redwood Area Hospital twice a week. “The transitional care I received at Redwood Area Hospital was exceptional,” Fischer says. “I believe local hospitals are still the greatest – providing compassionate, personal care in a safe and friendly environment – close to family and friends.”