Burns and Burn Injury Q 63 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Thursday 31 March 2022

Burns and Burn Injury Q 63

The client has experienced an electrical injury, with the entrance site on the left hand and the exit site on the left foot. What are the priority assessment data to obtain from this client on admission?
    A. Airway patency
    B. Heart rate and rhythm
    C. Orientation to time, place, and person
    D. Current range of motion in all extremities

Correct Answer: B. Heart rate and rhythm

Electric current travels through the body from the entrance site to the exit site and can seriously damage all tissues between the two sites. Early cardiac damage from electrical injury includes irregular heart rate, rhythm, and ECG changes. It is also important to obtain the patient’s cardiac history, including any history of prior arrhythmias.

Option A: The airway is not at any particular risk with this injury. Any patient that was in contact with a high voltage source should have continuous cardiac monitoring during evaluation.
Option C: These patients are specifically at risk for cardiac damage if the path of the current traversed the heart. One may also consider CT imaging of the head if the patient has altered mental status or associated head trauma from a fall or being thrown in a blast.
Option D: Range of motion is also important. However, the priority is to make sure that the heart rate and rhythm are adequate to support perfusion to the brain and other vital organs.

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