oa Professional Nursing Today - Emergency management of the patient with severe burns in the emergency unit : clinical

Volume 16, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1607-6672



Burns are one of the common causes of injury with which patients present to emergency units. Much of the damage caused by burns can be prevented or reversed with appropriate emergency management in the emergency unit.

During the emergency phase, treatment should be directed towards three focus areas:
  • Initial assessment and resuscitation (primary and secondary survey)
  • Fluid resuscitation
  • Wound care.
In Africa, generally, burn patients die of two causes:
  • Early deaths, as a result of burn shock.
  • Late deaths, as a result of sepsis and multiple organ failure.
Severe burns require intensive monitoring during the resuscitation and initial treatment phase.
When burn patients are managed with a systematic approach and care is provided by trained medical staff, the patient outcome improves and medical costs are reduced. Proper evaluation and management that start as early as possible post the burn event, greatly assist in minimising suffering and optimising the outcome for the patient.

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