Burns and Burn Injury Q 4 - Gyan Darpan : Learning Portal
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Friday, 1 April 2022

Burns and Burn Injury Q 4

In assessing the client’s potential for an inhalation injury as a result of a flame burn, what is the most important question to ask the client on admission?
    A. “Are you a smoker?”
    B. “When was your last chest x-ray?”
    C. “Have you ever had asthma or any other lung problem?”
    D. “In what exact place or space were you when you were burned?”

Correct Answer: D. “In what exact place or space were you when you were burned?”

The risk for inhalation injury is greatest when flame burns occur indoors in small, poorly ventilated rooms. The composition of smoke varies with each fire depending upon the materials being burned, the amount of oxygen available to the fire, and the nature of the fire. It is important to elucidate whether the exposure was to smoke, flames, and/or possible chemicals (both industrial and household). Duration of exposure, the location of exposure (such as if it was in an enclosed space), and any loss of consciousness are all important as well.

Option A: Although smoking increases the risk for some problems, it does not predispose the client for an inhalation injury. History-taking should be complete and thorough. Burn patients may have extensive external injuries, but smoke inhalation may affect those with no outward signs of burns.
Option B: Workup of smoke inhalation injury may include serial chest radiographs (often negative early in smoke inhalation injury) and computed tomography (CT) chest. A delay in the onset of symptoms is not uncommon, and clinicians should educate patients on the possibility of delayed symptom onset post-exposure. The delayed symptoms occur in the lower respiratory airways as it is caused by chemical toxin exposure, which may bypass the upper airways.
Option C: Short-term complications are seen in more severe injuries within 4 to 5 days, and the most common issue is pneumonia. Acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary edema are also seen in the short term.

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