For all serious and extensive burns (over
20 percent BSA), and in the presence of
shock, start intravenous therapy with an
electrolyte solution (Ringers lactate) in an
Maintain intravenous treatment during
Relieve mild pain with aspirin. Relieve
moderate pain with cool wet compresses
or ice water immersion (for burns of less
than 20 percent BSA). Severe pain may be
relieved with morphine or demerol injec-
tions. Pain resulting from small burns may
be relieved with an anesthetic ointment if
the skin is not broken.
Aid Station Care
Continue to observe for airway patency,
hemorrhage, and shock.
Continue intravenous therapy that is in
place, or start a new one under a medical
officers supervision to control shock and
replace fluid loss.
Monitor urine output.
Shave body hair well back from the burned
area and then cleanse the area gently with
disinfectant soap and warm water.
Remove dirt, grease, and nonviable tissue.
Apply a sterile dressing of dry gauze. Place
bulky dressings around the burned parts
to absorb serous exudate.
All major burn victims should be given a
booster dose of tetanus toxoid to guard
against infection. Administration of anti-
biotics may be directed by a medical
If evacuation to a definitive care facility
will be delayed for 2 to 3 days, start topical
antibiotic chemotherapy after the patient
stabilizes and following debridement and
wound care. Gently spread a 1/16-inch
thickness of Sulfamylon or Silvadene over
the burn area. Repeat the application after
12 hours, and then after daily debride-
ment. Treat minor skin reactions with
Sunburn results from prolonged exposure to
the ultraviolet rays of the sun. First- and second-
degree burns similar to thermal burns result.
Treatment is essentially the same as that outlined
for thermal burns. Unless a major percentage of
the body surface is affected, the victim will not
require more than first aid attention. Commer-
cially prepared sunburn lotions and ointments
may be used. Prevention through education and
the proper use of sun screens is the best way to
avoid this condition.
Electrical burns may be far more serious than
a preliminary examination may indicate. The en-
trance and exit wounds may be small, but as elec-
tricity penetrates the skin it burns a large area
below the surface, as indicated in figure 4-73. A
corpsman can do little for these victims other than
monitoring the basic life functions, delivering
CPR, treating for shock if necessary, covering
the entrance and exit wounds with a dry, sterile
Figure 4-73.Electrical burns.