Tag Archives: Carbon monoxide detector

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on Treatment of Fire Related Injuries

firevictim
Questions, you’ve got questions (Why are you so shy about posting them?).  Here we go.  Today, your focus is on the aftermath and treatment of fire related injury.

1)   What does carbon monoxide poisoning look like?

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is very dangerous because the gas is colorless and odorless.  You should suspect that you’re feeling its effect when you’re feeling like you have the flu after perhaps being in a contained area with a motor running or after a fire.  Headache is the most common symptom, and you may also feel nauseated, with malaise (feeling ‘blah’) and fatigue also being common symptoms.

2)   How are the burns treated?

  • Burns cause serious illness.  The thermal component can cause direct damage to your airway.  The toxins contained within (carbon monoxide and cyanide) can kill you independent of any other consideration.  Burns are especially prone to infection, so you don’t want significant skin burns exposed to everything outside of a burnt house while you’re waiting for the ambulance.
  • The burns will be treated according to the severity.  A lot of intravenous fluid, pain management, clear blister removal and infection control will be in order.  Especially serious burns may require a burn unit and skin grafting.

3)   What can I do to treat while waiting for the ambulance?

  • Keep calm, and keep them calm.
  • Be prepared to start CPR if necessary.
  • If any injuries have occurred to the head and neck, lay the person down and don’t move them.
  • Cover any bleeding areas, and apply enough pressure to stop external bleeding.
  • If you have a clean sheet, wrap the person in it.

4)   I know someone who says she was intubated (i.e. had a ‘breathing tube’ placed), and they were feeling fine after a fire.  Why would this have been done?

  • It’s hard to comment on the management of individual cases sight unseen, but most likely soot or burning was noted somewhere inside the airway (e.g. the mouth, nose or oral cavity).  Intubation would have been done to protect and secure the airway before in collapses.  If you wait until the last possible moment, it could be too late.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.
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Straight, No Chaser: Trauma Quick Tips and The Week In Review

cch trauma
This week in Straight, No Chaser, we reviewed multiple topics related to Trauma, the #1 cause of death between ages 1-44.  Here’s the Week In Review and featured Quick Tips.
1)   Over the weekend, we started with discussions of Amputations of Permanent Teeth and Fingers.

  1. Remember, you lose 1% viability per minute for a dislodged tooth.  Get help quick!  https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/27/straight-no-chaser-saturday-quick-tips-the-tooth-of-the-matter-is/
  2. The transport of displaced fingers and teeth is vital to successful reimplantation.  Never place them directly on ice!  https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/28/sunday-quick-tips-give-me-the-finger/

2)   On Monday, we talked about Motor Vehicle Crashes.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/29/straight-no-chaser-human-shark-week-part-1-motor-vehicle-trauma/
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/29/trauma-quick-tips-how-to-survive-that-motor-vehicle-crash-mvc/

  1. Avoiding distracted driving is the most important factor in preventing crashes.
  2. Wearing your seat beat is the most important factor in surviving crashes.
  3. The middle back seat (while wearing a seat belt) is the safest place in the car.

3)   On Tuesday, we reviewed Traumatic Brain Injuries/Concussions.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/30/straight-no-chaser-heads-up-traumatic-brain-injuries-concussions-part-i/
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/30/straight-no-chaser-heads-up-traumatic-brain-injuries-concussion-part-ii/
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/30/straight-no-chaser-concussions-post-script-a-neurologists-thoughts/

  1. Dr. Flippen, a neurologist from UCLA, reminded us that most patients will recover but never as fast as they wish.
  2. After a head injury, expect not to be released back to sporting activity for at least two weeks.

4)   On Wednesday, we reviewed Mass Disasters and talked about the importance of an Emergency Kit.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/31/straight-no-chaser-when-disaster-strikes/

  1. Remember to have access to 1 gallon per day per person, half for drinking and half for cooking/hygiene.

5)   On Wednesday, we also discussed Dog, Cat and Shark Bites.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/07/31/straight-no-chaser-who-let-the-dogs-out-animal-bites/

  1. Cat scratches are also a major infection risk and should be evaluated.
  2. Who’d have thought sharks were nibbling you out of curiosity instead of biting you out of hunger?

6)   On Thursday, we reviewed Penetrating Trauma (Gunshot and Stab Wounds)https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/08/01/straight-no-chaser-gunshot-and-stab-wounds/

  1. Remember the ‘Golden Hour’ of Trauma and get seen as soon as possible after being stabbed or shot, just as soon as you ensure your safety.
  2. It is very important to avoid worsening possible spinal injuries by excessive movement.

7)   On Friday, we reviewed Residential Fires and its associated trauma.

  1. In Part I, we emphasized the importance of installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, having an escape plan and not sticking around to fight the fire.   https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/08/02/straight-no-chaser-the-roof-is-on-fire-the-trauma-of-residential-fires/
  2. In Part II, we discussed treatment of possible injuries that may occur.  https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/08/02/straight-no-chaser-your-questions-on-treatment-of-fire-related-injuries/
  3. Remember if any head or neck injuries exist, try your best not to move.
  4. Remember that if you’re feeling like you have the flu after being exposed to a fire, it could be carbon monoxide poisoning!

8)   On Saturday, we reviewed Snakebites.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/08/03/straight-no-chaser-stop-the-life-you-save-may-be-your-own-snake-bites/

  1. We debunked the myth about sucking venom out of snakebite wounds.  Don’t do it!

9)   Saturday, we also reviewed Elderly Falls.
https://jeffreysterlingmd.com/2013/08/03/straight-no-chaser-ive-fallen-and-cant-get-up-quick-tips-on-elderly-falls/

  1. We identified head injuries/bleeds, lacerations and hip fractures as injuries to guard against.
  2. We discussed the importance of home improvements, diet, exercise and checking for osteoporosis and vision checking for maintainance of health.

Straight, No Chaser: Your Questions on Treatment of Fire Related Injuries

firevictim
Questions, you’ve got questions (Why are you so shy about posting them?).  Here we go.  Today, your focus is on the aftermath and treatment of fire related injury.
1)   What does carbon monoxide poisoning look like?

  • Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning is very dangerous because the gas is colorless and odorless.  You should suspect that you’re feeling its effect when you’re feeling like you have the flu after perhaps being in a contained area with a motor running or after a fire.  Headache is the most common symptom, and you may also feel nauseated, with malaise (feeling ‘blah’) and fatigue also being common symptoms.

2)   How are the burns treated?

  • Burns cause serious illness.  The thermal component can cause direct damage to your airway.  The toxins contained within (carbon monoxide and cyanide) can kill you independent of any other consideration.  Burns are especially prone to infection, so you don’t want significant skin burns exposed to everything outside of a burnt house while you’re waiting for the ambulance.
  • The burns will be treated according to the severity.  A lot of intravenous fluid, pain management, clear blister removal and infection control will be in order.  Especially serious burns may require a burn unit and skin grafting.

3)   What can I do to treat while waiting for the ambulance?

  • Keep calm, and keep them calm.
  • Be prepared to start CPR if necessary.
  • If any injuries have occurred to the head and neck, lay the person down and don’t move them.
  • Cover any bleeding areas, and apply enough pressure to stop external bleeding.
  • If you have a clean sheet, wrap the person in it.

4)   I know someone who says she was intubated (i.e. had a ‘breathing tube’ placed), and they were feeling fine after a fire.  Why would this have been done?

  • It’s hard to comment on the management of individual cases sight unseen, but most likely soot or burning was noted somewhere inside the airway (e.g. the mouth, nose or oral cavity).  Intubation would have been done to protect and secure the airway before in collapses.  If you wait until the last possible moment, it could be too late.