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).
When you have excluded or addressed life-threatening conditions in the primary survey of your pediatric patient, continue with a secondary survey. This involves taking the patient’s history and assessing the wound.
You should conduct the primary survey for every adult burn patient. The order of assessment is designed to ensure that the most life-threatening issues are treated first. It is therefore vital you follow the process in order, even if the burn injury distracts you from other injuries.