Burns involve damage to the skin when it is exposed to radiation, heat, corrosive chemicals, and electricity. Patients with burns may have first, second, or third-degree burns. First and mild second-degree burns are generally managed at home. However, third-degree burns are life-threatening and require comprehensive medical care.

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  • Management of Minor Burns: Minor burns can be managed by implementing the “Cs” of burn care. These Cs include cooling, cleaning, covering, and comfort. During cooling, the burn areas are cooled with normal tap water or a saline solution to relieve pain. The burn site is cleaned using a mild antibacterial solution or mild soap and water. There may be debridement of large blisters. However, the small blisters, especially those involving the soles or palms, are not debrided and are left to heal themselves. After applying topical antibiotic cream or ointment, the burn area is covered with a specialized burn dressing. Pain medications are given to provide relief from pain.
  • Management of Severe Burns: Severe burns are life-threatening and may result in sepsis. Providing appropriate fluid resuscitation to patients with severe burns is important to prevent dehydration and shock. Further, the treatment of such patients includes skin grafting. During skin grafting, the healthy skin replaces the damaged skin of the patients. The plastic surgeon obtains healthy skin from the unharmed part of the body.
  • Management of Flame Burns with Inhalational Injury: If the patient with moderate to severe flame burns is suspected of having an inhalational injury, the doctor checks the patient’s carboxyhemoglobin. High-flow oxygen should be provided to the patient until the doctors rule out carbon monoxide poisoning. Hydroxocobalamin may be used to manage cyanide poisoning caused by smoke inhalation.
  • Management of Burn Complications: Apart from the visible signs and symptoms of the burns, such as skin damage, pain, and the risk of infection, certain other burn complications demand medical attention. These complications include pneumonia, organ failure, cardiovascular diseases, and significantly low blood pressure.