Medications and The Treatment of Burns

Not every burn victim or burn injury is the same. Each has its own
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issues. The same is for thermal, electrical and chemical burns. All require different treatments and medications. Medications have a limited role in the treatment of most chemical burns. The key to treating electrical burns is hydration and thermal burns require analgesics and topical antibiotics.

It is very important for you or a family member to inform the doctors and hospitals about Be any drug allergies, including allergies to medications, the burn patient may have, any medications the burn patient is currently taking and any medical conditions that may have existed prior to the burn injury.

      Thermal Burn Medications

Topical Antibiotics

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Topical antibiotics are used to prevent infections and bacteria growth. Neosporin is used to treat minor infections and is applied to the skin 1 to 3 times a day to the affected areas. Neosporin does not need a prescription and can be purchased over the counter.

Silvadene is a topical cream that is used on severe burns, 2nd and 3rd degree.. Silvadene is a sulfa medicine used to prevent and treat bacterial or fungus infections. Silvadene should be applied using a sterile technique to the affected areas. These areas should be washed before applying. Avoid applying Silvaden to the face and it should not be use in newborns, infants younger than 2 years or in late pregnancy. A prescription from your doctor is necessary in order to get Silvadene.

   Analgesics

Doctors usually prescribe analgesics for people who have suffer from
thermal burns. Analgesics are used for pain control and to ensure that the patient is as comfortable as possible. For severe pain Morphine sulfate, Vicoding and Demerol may be prescribed. A prescription is needed in order to get Morphine sulfate, Vicoding and Demerol.

   Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents

Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) is usually used during the initial therapy. Other options such as Naproxen, Ansaid, and Anaprox may be prescribed. This is also used for patients who are suffering from mild to moderate pain.

Dermabrasion is usually performed as an outpatient procedure. Local anesthesia and a sedative to relieve tension is used. Depending on the situation, sometimes a numbing spray is used instead of a local anesthetic, or the two may be used in combination. For many burn survivors, extensive work
is performed. This causes a brief hospital stay for many burn survivors.

      Chemical Burn Medications

Though medications play a limited role in the treatment of most chemical burns topical antibiotics, calcium and magnesium salts have been used. After decontamination is performed a standard IV fluid and narcotic therapy is administered.

   Analgesics

Morphine, and Acetaminophen are prescribed for pain management and may be used for sedation. This is usually beneficial for patients who have sustained injuries to their eyes.

Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Agents

Advil, Motrin Ansaid, Naprosyn and Anaprox are anti-inflammatory agents used to control mild to moderate pain.

   Antibiotics

Silvadene is a very well known and used medication for dermal burns. It is also helpful in the prevention of infections in second and third degree burns. Silvadene should be applied to skin once or twice daily depending on the doctors prescription. Before applying each new dose of Silvadene the area must be cleaned and all of the Silvadene must be removed. Then you apply the Silvadene and cover the area.

Erythromycin ointment (Bacitracin) is used to prevent infections following ocular burns.

      Electrical Injuries

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   Fluids

Lactated ringers are used for fluid revival. It is an isotonic and has volume restorative properties. They are administered using an IV and should be stopped if pulmonary edema develops.

   Osmotic Diuretics

Mannitol is an osmotic diuretic which is not significantly metabolized. It passes to and through the glomerulus without being reabsorbed by the kidneys. Mannitol is used to restore and maintain urinary output.

      Scar Treatment Medications

   Cica-Care Gel Sheets

Cica-Care gel sheets are made of a silicone gel and they are intended to flatten and soften scars. The Cica-Care sheets are self adhesive and one sheet can last up to 28 days.

   Mederma

Mederma is a topical gel that is used to reduce the visibility of scars. For burn scars, the gel should be rubbed into the scar 3 to 4 times a day for 3 to 6 months.

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