Exposure/Environment Control

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Expose the patient to assess extent of injury Copy

Expose the patient to assess extent of injury
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Exposure aids in early recognition of injuries, particularly in patients unable to communicate. People with severe burn injuries can lose heat quickly and efforts should be made to minimize heat loss to avoid the detrimental effects of hypothermia.

KEY STEPS:

  1. Expose the patient, remove clothing and any jewellery.
  2. Examine from head to toe (including posterior surfaces) for burns and other injuries.
  3. Keep the patient warm and cover again ASAP to minimise heat loss.




Expose the patient, remove clothing and any jewellery.

Removing clothing and exposing the patient will allow for a quick head to toe examination and early recognition of injuries.  Jewelry should be moved, take special note of rings and bracelets which can have a tourniquet effect if surrounding skin is burnt.

 

Examine from head to toe (including posterior surfaces) for burns and other injuries.

Examine the patient from head to toe, and log roll to check posterior surfaces. Inspect for concomitant injuries and get the first estimation of burn %TBSA.

 

Keep patient warm.

Efforts should be made to minimise heat loss due to the high risk and detrimental effects of hypothermia for severe burns patients secondary to the loss of skin integrity. Cover the patient with warm blankets, warm the environment, and administer warm IV fluids.

Whilst performing the head to toe assessment expose only those areas of the body being inspected and keep other areas covered to preserve warmth, and cover again as soon as possible.

The Alfred Hospital gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support and contribution of Skilled Medical in funding this project.  For more information on Skilled Medical, please visit www.skilledmedical.com
Supported by:

Ambulance Victoria The Alfred Victorian Adult Burn Services at The Alfred The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne