The Corpsman must take all these factors into
consideration when evaluating the condition of the
burn victim, especially in a triage situation.
After the victim has been removed from the source
of the thermal injury, first aid should be kept to a
Maintain an open airway.
Control hemorrhage, and treat for shock.
Remove constricting jewelry and articles of
Protect the burn area from contamination by
covering it with clean sheets or dry dressings.
DO NOT remove clothing adhering to a wound.
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 unburned area.
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 injections. Pain resulting
from small burns may be relieved with an
anesthetic ointment if the skin is not broken.
Aid Station Care
Once the victim has arrived at the aid station,
observe the following procedures.
Continue to monitor 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
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 antibiotics may be directed by
a medical officer or an Independent Duty
If evacuation to a definitive care facility will be
delayed for 2 to 3 days, start topical antibiotic
therapy after the patient stabilizes and following
debridement and wound care. Gently spread a
1/16 -inch thickness of Sulfamylon
Silvadene over the burn area.
application after 12 hours, and then after daily
debridement. 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. Commercially 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 entrance
and exit wounds may be small, but as electricity
penetrates the skin it burns a large area below the
surface, as indicated in figure 4-49. ACorpsman 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 dressing, and transporting the victim to a
medical treatment facility.
Before treatment is started, ensure that the victim
is no longer in contact with a live electrical source.
Shut the power off or use a nonconducting rope or stick
to move the victim away from the line or the line away
from the victim. See figure 3-26.
When acids, alkalies, or other chemicals come in
contact with the skin or other body membranes, they