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The burns management pathway I: assessing and transferring patients with an acute burn injury 

The burns management pathway I: assessing and transferring patients with an acute burn injury
Chapter:
The burns management pathway I: assessing and transferring patients with an acute burn injury
Author(s):

Kayvan Shokrollahi

and Susie Yao

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199699537.003.0005
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date: 02 April 2020

The initial management of patients with an acute burn injury is often undertaken by individuals with relatively little experience in this area. To optimize outcomes and minimize the risk of long-term sequelae, clinicians should understand the key steps in initial management and safe transfer of these patients to a specialist burns unit. These include safely extricating patients and providing prompt first aid at scene; rapidly and accurately assessing them at the nearest emergency department or trauma centre; appropriately managing their airway and oxygenation; obtaining intravenous access and initiating fluid resuscitation; assessing burn extent and depth and considering the potential need for escharotomies; providing analgesia and appropriate tetanus prophylaxis; and covering and warming the patient while temporarily dressing their burns. Once these measures are taken, any patient with a burn injury may be discussed with a specialist burns unit for advice. If deemed necessary and accepted, they should be promptly transferred to a burns unit with an appropriate escort. Prior to transfer, a systematic re-assessment should be undertaken, and any required treatments should be continued during the transfer. Copies of all referral information and the results of initial assessments and investigations should be sent with the patient to ensure a robust handover process.

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