A patient is brought into the emergency department in a friend's car after suffering chemical burns during a work-related accident. The patient was exposed to chemical powder over 40 percent of his body. Which of the following actions should the nurse perform first?


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- Remove the burning agent

- Secure the patients airway and ensure the chemical did not enter the nose or mouth

- Assess for breathing and circulation

- Secure a cervical collar around the patients neck until the spine is cleared


The first step in managing a burn injury is to remove the burning agent to prevent further injury from happening. Although the nurse should assess airway, breathing, and circulation, resuscitation measures are not useful when the patient continues to be burned. In this case, other staff may assess the patients airway, breathing, and circulation while the nurse removes the burning agent.

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