Clinical scenario: Dispatched for an accident at a restaurant

You respond to a call for a cook that burned himself on a flat top grill; what are your first treatment steps

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“Engine 2641, I show you responding to the Sunrise Café at 126 1st Ave. The caller reports that a cook in the kitchen area has burned himself on a flat top grill.”

Based on this initial report, how do you prepare yourself for the call? Is there anything you are expecting when you arrive?

You pull up in front of the building and a manager shows you back to the kitchen. You are introduced to Carl, a 25-year-old who has been working as a cook at the café for three years. A few minutes ago he tripped over a towel that had been dropped on the floor and fell forward toward the cooking surface. He caught himself with outstretched hands which were in contact with the flat top for several seconds.

Carl denies any other injuries and states that he has no previous medical history. Prior to your arrival the other kitchen staff wrapped Carl’s hands in towels from the counter. You tell Carl that you will need to unwrap his hands to assess the burn.

As you visualize the palms of Carl’s hands, you see that several layers of skin have sloughed off, leaving bright red tissue underneath that turns white when he moves his fingers. When asked about his pain level, Carl responds that he rates it as a 10/10. Your lieutenant advises you that the ALS ambulance is 10 minutes away.

At this point think about the following questions:

  • How would you characterize the extent of the patient’s burn?
  • What are your first treatment steps?
  • Are there any concerns you have moving forward with the care of this patient?

Post your answers below in the comments

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