Burn patients require different care and treatment as their wounds change and heal. After the first 24-48 hours after the burn injury – called the ‘ebb phase’ – the patient enters what is known as the ‘flow phase’. Here you can find information about patient care, including pain management, fluid balance, respiration, nutrition and psychological support.
The burn patient may need to be referred to a burn center, depending on the injury, the patient’s age or situation, the capacity of the healthcare facility and other factors. Referral criteria differ by location, and the patient will need to be prepared for transfer if referral is indicated.
Following a full thickness burn, pressure on the underlying tissue may increase due to the skin shrinking and an edema forming. In the acute setting, a surgical procedure can alleviate this pressure: an escharotomy (an incision to the depth of the subcutaneous fat) or a fasciotomy (an incision through the deeper underlying fascial layers).
The spectrum of electrical injury is broad, ranging from minimal injury to severe multi-systemic injuries with multiple organ involvement, to death. Therefore, some parts of the primary and secondary survey require particular attention.
Chemical burns can cause extensive tissue damage. They differ from thermal burns and require a specific approach. This includes taking a modified 5-point history and considering different treatment options.
Systemic toxicity can occur with inhalation injury. The two gases most commonly associated with this are carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (HCN). Intoxication has certain signs and symptoms that differ depending on the gas. However, treatment protocols are the same.
A lower respiratory tract inhalation injury is often caused by the inhalation of burning substances, such as chemicals in smoke. Physical signs and symptoms include burns to the face and difficulty breathing. Here you can find information on the causes and signs of an lower respiratory tract inhalation injury, as well as treatment approaches.