Early management of severe burns

The early management of the severely burnt patient is prioritised according to the needs identified in the primary and secondary surveys.


Airway and breathing support

Consider intubation in patients whose airway is at risk

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Intravenous analgesia is the preferred route in severe burns

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Fluid resuscitation

Fluid resuscitation aims to restore circulating volume and preserve vital organs and tissue perfusion.

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Wound care

The goals of initial wound care are to cool the wound, decontaminate and cover the wound quickly.

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A full thickness incision of the circumferential burn

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Urine output

Evaluating the adequacy of fluid resuscitation is fundamental to quality care.

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Prevent heat loss

Patients with severe burns are at increased risk of developing hypothermia

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Other factors

Including tetanus immunisation and the insertion of a nasogastric tube

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