There is no doubt in the fact that a burn injury needs to be treated as soon as possible. This treatment is known as ‘Initial Management of Thermal Burn Injuries’. Burn care should begin at the spot of an accident with the first aid components, if available. If there is no first aid available, the patient should be taken to the emergency department of the nearest hospital with proper life support system and then, should be transferred to a burn center for further treatment.
However, the first-degree burns can be managed through primary care but the major burns require proper treatment that only a burn specialist can provide.Experts say that there is a decline in the number of burn injuries but on the other hand, in a span of ten years, 2499 patients have suffered from burn injuries due to different reasons.
Initial assessment and treatment form the initial management of thermal burns. The first method for initial management of a thermal burn is to cool the burned tissue. But the use of icy water and ice should be avoided for this. The process goes like this:
- Remove the clothing on and around the wound, if there is any.
- Keep the wound in cool water for half an hour so that the tissues burnt can be cooled completely. The not so severe burns can be cooled under tap water.
- The wound should be dressed properly.
After this, assess the severity of the burn, conscious level of the injured person, the cause of the burn, airways, time passed since the injury, affected the surface area, and the depth of the burn.After that, begin with the initial management. Burns affect the tissues of the affected area as well as the blood flow. If treatment does not begin immediately, this can lead to death also due to disruption in the blood flow.A patient with a major burn injury or a burn near neck or nose requires airway support that can only be provided by the nearest health care centre.
A person with acute inhalation injury can be diagnosed with Fiber optic bronchoscopy (a method that allows a clinician to assess the breathing passages of the patient). When you observe that even respiratory care is proving fatal, then mechanical ventilation is necessary for the patient. At that time, high-frequency ventilation flow would prove beneficial in sustaining the life of the patient.
To minimize the effect of this burn shock, an early resuscitation (the process of reviving someone from unconsciousness or apparent death), lays a foundation for treatment of persons with burn shock. If the initial treatment depicts that a patient needs to undergo a surgery, he/she should be admitted immediately. If the wounds are minor, it can be treated with an antibiotic and patient can be discharged after proper dressing of the wound.
After this initial management at the injury place, the patient should be escorted to the nearest emergency department. There are various steps to be followed at an emergency department:
- The initial cardiovascular and respiratory tests should be done, along with other special observations.
- Minor burns should be treated with sterile saline initially.
- Make sure that the patient is tetanus immunized.
- Cover partial thickness wounds with antibiotic ointment.
In some cases, the person with the victim is unable to decide whether the patient should be taken to the hospital or not. In that case, refer to the below points:
- Second or third degree burns on the areas like hands, face, feet, private parts, and major joints.
- If the patient has suffered electrical burns or chemical burns.
- If you observe that the injury is causing trauma to the patient, then it is necessary to transfer him to the hospital.
When it comes to children, they should be admitted without any delay to a burn center that can provide immediate personnel care. Like children, patients with abuse burns should also be given immediate treatment because for them, these burns lead to long-term trauma.