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The management of burns but even more so of burn patients is still a problem today.
There are several reasons for this. Firstly, the topic is insufficiently covered or not covered at all by the curriculums of nursing training schools and faculties of medicine.
Secondly, the injuries of burn victims are “born on the outside” or exteriorised and convey notions of pain and irreversible damage which may make caregivers somewhat apprehensive.
Therefore, the approach to burn patients is often irrational: patients are sometimes transferred in the middle of the night when an appointment in a week’s time would have been satisfactory and on the contrary, patients who theoretically require urgent care are sometimes transferred after unacceptable delays.
It is out of the question to request that everyone manage burn patients optimally. However, it seems important that caregivers should be able to appraise the condition of burn victims, namely, to determine the surface areas and depths of burns as well as their severity based on cause and localisation, etc. A burn patient whose condition has been properly assessed will be correctly referred to a structure and care suited to severity of his/her burns. In the following pages, we will try to give a specific description of the clinical signs used to assess a patient’s condition to facilitate the management of burn patients.
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