Initial Burn Management

Review Article

Austin J Surg. 2014;1(2): 1010.

Initial Burn Management

Medhat Emil Habib*

Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns, Mafraq Hospital, UAE

*Corresponding author: Medhat Emil Habib, Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Burns, Mafraq Hospital, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Received: February 11, 2014; Accepted: March 31, 2014; Published: April 04, 2014


Proper evaluation and management of burn patients greatly reduce the morbidity and mortality of such cases. The initial management of a severely burnt patient is similar to that of any trauma patient. The primary and secondary surveys allow the patients to be assessed and managed in a systematic way according to the priorities to be looked after. This article describes the initial management of the burnt patients according to these surveys.

Keywords: Burn


The skin is the largest organ in the body, comprising 15% of body weight and covering approximately 1.7 m2 in the average adult. A burn injury implies damage or destruction of skin and⁄or its contents by thermal, chemical, electrical or radiation energies or combinations of them [1]. Attention to basic principles of initial burn trauma resuscitation should minimize the morbidity and mortality of these injuries.

Brief history should include the time of burn; the type of clothes worn at that time, location and circumstances of the injury e.g. closed space, where the patient was found and history of sustaining associated injury while trying to escape. Past medical and social history, current medication usage, drug allergies, and tetanus status should be rapidly determined [2].

Immediate Resuscitation and Primary Survey


The doctor should be alert to the possibility of airway involvement (Figure 1). Clinical indications of inhalation injury include: