Burns: Introduction, common places and causes, Types and Etiology, Risk groups

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Meaning:
  • Injuries that result from direct contact with or exposure to any thermal, chemical, or radiation sources are termed as burns
  • Burn injuries occur when energy from heat source is transferred to the tissue of the body
Common places and causes of burn injury
Occupational hazards
  • Tar
  • Fertilizers/ pesticides
  • Chemicals  
  • Electricity from power lines
  • Hot metals
  • Sparks from live electric sources  
  • Steam pipes
  • Combustible fuels
  • Home or recreational hazards

Kitchen / bathroom
  • Pressure cookers
  • Hot grease or hot liquids from cooking
  • Microwaved food
  • Hot water heater
General home
  • Gas fireplaces
  • Carelessness with cigarettes and matches
  • Open space heaters.
  • Frayed or defective wiring
  • Improper use / storage of flammables (e.g. starter fluid , gasoline, kerosene)
  • Improper use of outdoor grills
  • Radiators (home or automobiles)
  • Multiple extension cords per outlet

Types and Etiology
  • Categorized according to the mechanism of injuries
  1. Thermal burns:
  • by exposure to or contact with flame
  • hot liquids, semi liquids ( steam), semisolids(tar)    
  • hot objects like residential fires  
  • exposure to automobile accidents
  • scald injuries, clothing, ingestion
  • poorly stored flammable liquids

  1. Chemical burns :
They are generally associated with acidic or alkaline solutions, such as bleach, drain or toilet  cleaners or metal cleaners.
  • occur from direct contact with chemical or splashing onto skin or eyes.
  • Risk group: Industrial, military or agricultural chemicals at work

  1. Electrical burns

  • The amount of current (low-high voltage or high tension), type of current (direct or alternating) and path of current( hand to toe), length of contact, and extenuating events ( water or fall).
  • Direct current such as lightening, defibrillator.
  • Alternating current produces tetany and a locked on phenomenon in which the person cant let go the source.  

  1. Radiation burns :
  • Sunburn, nuclear radiation accidents, industrial radiation and therapeutic radiation.
  • The degree of injury depends on the length of exposure, strength of radiation, distance from the source and amount of body surface exposed to the source.
  • Erythema, blistering, wet or dry desquamation or ulceration.

  1. Inhalation injury
  • Occurs when a person directly inhales smoke, hot air, flames or systemic toxins such as carbon monoxide.
  • Residential and building fires
  • Signs are soot around the nose and mouth, early respiratory distress, and facial burns

Risk groups
  • Scalds, house hold chemicals, electrical residential fires are seen in from birth to 4 years of age.
  • Residential fires and risky behaviors seen in 5 to 14 years.
  • Automobile related and work related seen in 15 - 24 years.
  • Work related seen in 25 to 64 years.
  • Scalds, smoking and cooking accidents seen in more than 65 years.

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notes.nursium.com: Burns: Introduction, common places and causes, Types and Etiology, Risk groups
Burns: Introduction, common places and causes, Types and Etiology, Risk groups
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