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The burns management pathway II: receiving and initially managing a patient with burns 

The burns management pathway II: receiving and initially managing a patient with burns
The burns management pathway II: receiving and initially managing a patient with burns

Kayvan Shokrollahi

and Susie Yao

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date: 20 October 2020

The burns multidisciplinary team includes surgeons, specialist nurses, anaesthetic and critical care specialists, operating theatre staff, physiotherapists, occupational therapist, play specialists, clinical psychologists and dieticians, with input from other specialties (eg. microbiology). Burns units receive referrals from primary and secondary care, usually by telephone. Referral proformas help to document these calls and any information provided about patients, their burns and associated injuries, the treatments provided and their planned transfer. The clinician accepting the patient for transfer must ensure that there is an available ward or ICU bed, as required, prior to arranging transfer. Care should be taken to minimize the risk of a patient deteriorating during transfer. Fluid resuscitation and patient warming should continue during a prompt transfer by an ambulance team with the appropriate equipment and expertise, along with a medical escort if required. Upon arrival, the patient should be formally and systematically assessed (including an ATLS primary and secondary survey and anaesthetic assessment if indicated) and any remaining investigations undertaken. The burn wounds should be cleaned, photographed, swabbed and dressed, and any resuscitation fluids recalculated and prescribed. Appropriate medications and adjuncts should be prescribed including tetanus, deep vein thrombosis and stress ulceration prophylaxis, analgesia, usual medications, and nutritional supplements along with enteral or parenteral feeds. An admission proforma helps junior medical staff to ensure that all required information is collected and all components of the standard management plan are instituted.

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