Few things are scarier than suffering a burn injury, especially if it’s a severe one. But no matter how minor it might appear, the importance of properly treating the wounded area cannot be overstated. Being able to find a trusted source who can help you recover your personal and financial losses is equally important.
Not all burn injuries are the same, which is why a classification system was developed based on the depth and extent of the skin damage. Identifying if what you are dealing with is a first-degree, second-degree or third-degree burn is crucial in determining the treatment protocol. It’s also very important to know what caused the burn injury if you are not the victim. Was it a traditional fire, an electrical burn, coming in contact with chemicals, heat from a stove or even radiation?
Common Steps For Treating Any Burn Injury
First and foremost, whether you are alone or are the person who came upon the victim, move away from the source of the burn. If there are still visible flames on you or the person, smother them with a blanket and throw water on them. Of course, be aware of any electrical wires in the area so as to avoid sparking another fire.
Once the environment is contained, and your attention can be turned to treating the burn injury, there are a few common steps that pertain to all degrees of burns except for mild sunburn and some first-degree burns. It is imperative to remove all clothing and jewelry from the area on the body that was burned. Be careful not to peel back any piece of clothing that is stuck to the skin.
At this point, you have to cool the burnt area by placing it under tepid but not too cold running water. You should keep it there for at least one hour and up to four hours if the pain hasn’t stopped. Young children and the elderly should be taken to see a health professional regardless of the severity of the burn.
When To Transport Victim To A Health Professional
Any burn injury larger than the palm of your hand or to the face, neck, hands and groin region must be treated by a health professional. The same goes for all second-degree and third-degree burns and chemical burns. If the burn injury is a large one, wrap a blanket or a warm coat around the person to keep he or she warm because body heat will have escaped from the wound.
Contrary to some popular theories and folk remedies, it is not advisable to apply any types of creams or ointments or household items such as butter or lard to the burn injury. Water is the only thing that should be touching the wound.
If it is determined that the burn injury is serious enough that you or the victim needs to be taken to the hospital or to see the doctor, place a plastic bag over the wounded area or wrap the limb loosely in cling film. Since burns are in essence open wounds, the risk of infection is increased. This is why it is so important to thoroughly clean the wounded area within the first six hours.
Dealing With Serious Side Effects Of A Burn Injury
It is not always easy to tell the difference between second-degree and third-degree burns. Doctors and nurses are properly trained to make this distinction, which is why you should get to one if you are not sure. Continuing to pour water over the burn in transit is essential to lessening the pain. This also keeps the wound clean. However, if any blisters begin to form do not lance them yourself. Leave that to the health professional.
Once you have completed these treatment protocols yourself or have been seen by a doctor, there are some important things to pay attention to. Keep an eye on the burn injury over the ensuing days to ensure there is no infection. If the wounded area gets red, hot and swollen and you are the victim. If it develops a fever and is in intense pain, call the doctor immediately. Heat exhaustion, heat stroke, low blood pressure resulting from loss of fluids also can result from extreme burns.
Lowering The Risk Of Burn Injuries
It sounds simple enough. Don’t stand too close to the fire or keep away from those electrical wires. Put a lid on those chemical containers. But fire hazards and other causes of burn injuries are everywhere. Inside the home, the most obvious danger zone is the kitchen, so small children should be kept away. Adults need to remember to turn off the gas, the oven, and the stove top when done the cooking. Kids should always apply the proper SPF sunscreen before going outside.
Proper storage of flammables like lighter fluid or propane gas must be observed. Also, a certified fire extinguisher needs to be within easy reach. Last, but not least, every home should have a first aid kit.