Burn injuries are very common both in disaster practice and in routine clinical practice. Petroleum derivatives, other industrial chemicals, and compressed gases are often present in our environment, and their mismanagement can result in serious health hazards. On average 60,000 patients require specialized burn unit admissions per year in the United States. Interestingly, some studies suggest that surgery, emergency medicine, and anesthesia residents are better prepared to respond to an anthrax event, a sarin exposure, or a nuclear explosion than to handle burns. Burn care may require specialized personnel and materials and impose a significant burden on ICUs. Often patients with burns arrive in groups of 5 to 100 before secondary transfer can occur and they are triaged and/or transferred to specially designated facilities. This overwhelms the healthcare resources in nonspecialized medical or surgical ICU settings.
This chapter from SCCM's Fundamental Disaster Management, Third Edition seeks to:
- Describe the physiological injury and pathology of burn injury.
- Initiate the appropriate supportive and surgical treatment of burn victims.
- Appropriately triage patients with burn injuries.
- Explain the extended burn care models and their use in caring for burn patients in a non-burn intensive care unit (ICU).
David Bracco, MD, EDIC, FCCM
Tarek Razek, MD
Norma Smalls-Mantey, MD, FACS, FCCM
Dennis Amundson, DO, MS, FCCM