An emergency physician works in an emergency department caring for acutely ill patients. The emergency physician’s role is to assess; treat, admit, or discharge any patient that seeks medical attention at any time of day or night.
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Burns are common injuries seen in the emergency department.Burns can be from very simple injuries to very devastating injuries. They can come from as simple as burning your hands on hot water to a serious burn related to a house fire.
Simple burns tend to be burns that occur or result in redness to the skin or maybe some blistering. First thing to do when you burn yourself is to put your hand or put the extremity under cold water. You want to cool the burn. If you’re having ongoing pain, then it should be assessed by a healthcare provider.
Burns come in grades of severity. A first degree burn is where you have redness to the skin and it’s like a sunburn. They can be quite painful, but generally are not too serious. A second degree burn is when you start to get blistering of the skin, and if you get blistering of the skin, you should seek medical attention. A third degree burn is a very serious burn where the skin will actually turn black.
The treatment for burns will be based on the severity and extent of the burn. For simple first degree burns where there’s just redness of the skin and not covering a large area of the body, the treatment is really symptomatic treatment.
It will consist of cooling the skin, using an antibiotic ointment, and local, or over the counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you’re having ongoing pain, then it should be assessed by a healthcare provider.
For more extensive burns (second or third degree burns) it’s important that you seek medical attention for treatment. These burns can cause significant damage to not only the skin but underlying tissues, and an assessment by your healthcare provider will be critical in the management of these burns.
So remember, if it’s more than a first degree burn, so if you have blisters or black skin or if the burn is greater than the size of the palm of your hand, you should seek medical attention through your health care provider or local emergency department.
In addition, if the burn is circumferential, that is if it goes around your arm or your finger or your leg, then again, seek medical attention. It’s important to seek medical attention sooner than later in order to minimize the damage that the burn is causing not only to the skin but the underlying tissues.
Local Practitioners: Emergency Physician
Coming across somebody who’s unconscious or collapsed can be quite stressful for a person. Most important thing to do initially is to decide or determine whether they’re unconscious and not breathing. The easiest way to do that is to approach the person carefully and yell at them are you okay, are you okay, do you need help?
If you don’t hear a response from them, you can try shaking them to see if they wake up or they move, and if you don’t get any response from then, then have a listen to see if they’re breathing. You may need to listen for several seconds; it may seem like a long time, but listen carefully to see if they’re breathing.
If they’re not breathing and you can’t determine that they’re breathing then you can make the safe assumption that it’s most likely that they don’t have a pulse. At that point, you should yell for help to get some people to help you and call 9-1-1 so that you can engage the first responders and the ambulance service to come en route.
Then start doing chest compressions. CPR is very easy to do. Chest compressions are easy to do. The easiest way to do them is to put your hands in the center of the chest right over the breast bone and compress at 100 to 120 times a minute. You’ll quickly realize compressing that quickly you’re gonna get tired. That’s another reason for having some people to come so that you can switch off.
Don’t worry about hurting the person. The benefit of doing CPR or chest compressions greatly outweighs the chances of causing any serious harm from the chest compressions on the person. You may break a rib or two, but those are survivable and easily treated injuries.
The biggest fear that people have about doing chest compressions is about harming the patient. We know from studies that if you don’t do CPR in those situations, the death rate is almost 100 percent. If we get bystander CPR, it can be a survival rate of as high as 16 percent. Often seeing a local family physician or a physiotherapist in conjunction with a registered dietitian and athletic therapist is a great option to take control of this condition. Smart Food Now and exercise is also optominal for overall health.
It’s important that people be encouraged to take the CPR courses. They’re short courses for the most part. And remember, one day you may be saving a life of a relative or a friend or a neighbor.