Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Five EMT key points for Burn Emergencies

An Emergency Medical Technician will eventually come on scene to a burn victim. It will not be the actual tissue trauma that will cause the burn emergency. Most patients who die in the prehospital setting will die from obstructed airway, toxic inhalation, or other trauma. What else does a EMT or Paramedic need to know when dealing with burn victims?

1. Children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 55 have less tolerance for burn injuries. This is because a child has not completely developed yet. As we age past the years of 55, our bodies can not withstand as much as we could as we were younger. As an EMT student and an Emergency Medical Technician in your first year, this is going to be the case with young children and elderly no matter what the emergency is.

2. During a secondary assessment, EMT's should check for any injury that may have occurred in addition to the burn.

3. Check with medical direction regarding the use of wet or moist dressing on a burn victim. Every city will have a burn emergency protocol but never take chances.

4. Always consider Advance Life Support (ALS) response when dealing with airway complication in burn injuries. This is because a patient can go into shock, lose consciousness, lose airflow, or their heart can stop beating. In my city, ALS is either a Paramedic that is in the truck or the Fire Department shows up. Some cities may be set up where if certain emergencies are happening then certain units are called out.

5. Always assume the electrical source is still charged unless you have reliable information that the power source has been completely shut down. First priority is to keep yourself safe. You don't need two victims on scene.

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