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Trauma | Burns | Overview

Burns: soft tissue receives more energy than it can absorb without injury: thermal, chemical, electric or nuclear. 10,000 deaths a year. Always perform a complete trauma exam to see if there are other injuries.

Damage depends on:

  • Type of Exposure
  • What part of body was exposed
  • Length of contact

Three Zones of Intensity

  1. Zone of Hyperemia (Peripheral) – increased blood flow
  2. Zone of Stasis (intermediate) – surrounds critically injured area
  3. Zone of Coagulation (Central) – most intense contact with the thermal source

Focus on the airway, breathing and circulation first, then treat the burns

Probability the Airway is obstructed:

  • Stridor (airway is 80% narrowed)
  • Facial/.intraoral burns
  • Soot in nose/mouth
  • Edema
  • Coughing/wheezing./hoarse voice

Airway: do not delay the decision to intubate the patient. The airway may swell shut any minute (laryngeal edema)! Use a normal sized ET tube.
Breathing: high concentration, humidified O2
Circulation: if performing IV therapy, initiate a large bore catheter in a peripheral vein in an unburned extremity

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