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Bruce Cairns, M.D. - UNC-Chapel Hill. Raleigh-Durham, NC, US

Bruce Cairns, M.D. Bruce Cairns, M.D.

John Stackhouse Distinguished Professor of Surgery | UNC-Chapel Hill

Raleigh-Durham, NC, UNITED STATES

Dr. Cairns is the director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center and is a distinguished professor of surgery, microbiology, & immunology.





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Celebrate Tar Heel victories--without bonfires Patients from Haiti at UNC Hospitals: How you can help Caring for patients from the ConAgra explosion: A patient update from Dr. Bruce Cairns




As a Lt. Cmmdr. with the U.S. Navy, Dr. Cairns was on duty and a principle responder to the KAL flight that crashed in 1997 in Guam. Dr. Cairns was instrumental in developing the level of preparedness at the Naval Hospital there which received and managed dozens of critical patients in the morning following the crash of the 747.

Dr. Cairns has served North Carolina as a Burn Trauma Surgeon at the state's Burn Center at UNC. In 2006, Dr. Cairns was named as the Director of the North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center and is nationally known as a leader in Burn Trauma Care.

Industry Expertise (7)



Writing and Editing

Medical/Dental Practice

Health and Wellness

Health Care - Facilities

Health Care - Providers

Areas of Expertise (11)




Public Health


Clinical Research

Medical Education

Critical Care


Emergency Medicine


Accomplishments (2)

Edward Kidder Graham Award (2013) (professional)

The Edward Kidder Graham Award was established in 2010 to recognize outstanding service by a member of the Voting Faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

US News & World Report Top Doctors (2012) (professional)

Dr. Cairns is in the top 1% in the nation in specialty.

Education (2)

University of Pennsylvania: M.D., Medicine 1989

The Johns Hopkins University: B.A., Natural Sciences 1985

Affiliations (2)

  • American College of Surgeons : Fellow
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill : Chair of the Faculty

Media Appearances (2)

UNC doctor, now a patient, is grateful for a second chance at life

News & Observer  online


"No expression of gratitude will be too elaborate for Dr. Bruce Cairns when he sits down to a turkey dinner with his family Thursday. Every day is Thanksgiving Day now. For the past 68 days, Cairns has been giving thanks for something he equates to winning the lottery – the chance to see his children grow up."

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New robot connects Johnston Health to UNC burn center

News & Observer  online


"The latest emergency room specialist at Johnston Health is a robot. Or rather, it’s more of a robotic avatar for specialists located 60 miles away at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill. Through the wonders of what’s known as telemedicine, patients admitted with severe burns in Smithfield will now receive real-time examinations from doctors on the other side of the Triangle. A specialist will be on call 24/7, and the doctor will interact with patients through software that runs on Internet-connected laptops, smartphones and tablets."

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Articles (5)

Major burn injury is not associated with acute traumatic coagulopathy

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

2015 BACKGROUND :The pathophysiology and time course of coagulopathy after major burns are inadequately understood. Our study objectives were to determine whether acute traumatic coagulopathy (ATC) is seen in burn patients on admission and to determine the changes in international normalized ratio (INR), activated partial thromboplastin time (aPTT), platelet count (PLT), and hemoglobin (Hgb) in the first 7 days after injury...

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Bronchoscopy-derived correlates of lung injury following inhalation injuries: a prospective observational study


2013 BACKGROUND: Acute lung injury (ALI) is a major factor determining morbidity following burns and inhalational injury. In experimental models, factors potentially contributing to ALI risk include inhalation of toxins directly causing cell damage; inflammation; and infection. However, few studies have been done in humans...

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Effect of blood transfusion on outcome after major burn injury : A multicenter study

Critical Care Medicine

2006 OBJECTIVE: To delineate blood transfusion practices and outcomes in patients with major burn injury. Context: Patients with major burn injury frequently require multiple blood transfusions; however, the effect of blood transfusion after major burn injury has had limited study.

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Diagnostic tools for early caries detection

Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery

1994 ABSTRACT: The relative impact of inhalation injury, burn size, and age on overall outcome following burn injury was examined in 1447 consecutive burn patients over a five and a half year period. The overall mortality for all patients was 9.5% (138 of 1447). The presence of inhalation injury, increasing burn size, and advancing age were all associated with an increased mortality (p > 0.01)...

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Peristomal pyoderma gangrenosum and inflammatory bowel disease

Archives of Surgery

1994 ABSTRACT: Pyodermagangrenosum (PG) is a debilitating skin disease most often associated with inflammatory bowel disease and is a reportedly rare cause of peristomal ulceration. The lesions of PG rapidly evolve from small, erythematous pustules to deep, painful, pyogenic ...

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