EMS Tips

Quick Tip: Scald Burn Assessment in Geriatric Patients

This statement in a recent CDC MMWR caught my eye, “Adults aged ≥65 years have a worse prognosis than younger patients after scald burns because of age-related factors and comorbid medical conditions, and they are subject to more extensive medical treatment than younger adults.”

When assessing burn patients – of any age – remember assessing and managing ABC life threats is more important than the burn injuries. Unless those burn injuries are causing ABC life threats. The fluid shift associated with significant burns does not develop immediately. If the burn patient is hypovolemic there is trauma or medical cause that needs to be found and treated.

Learn more in two related continuing education lessons:

  • Burn Injury Assessment and Treatment
  • Geriatric Patient Assessment

By Greg Friese

Greg Friese, Stevens Point, Wisconsin, is an author, educator, paramedic, and marathon runner.

Greg was the co-host of the award winning EMSEduCast podcast, the only podcast by and for EMS educators. Greg has written for,, Wilderness Medical Associates, JEMS Magazine, and EMS World Magazine, and the NAEMSE Educator Newsletter.