Burns

Unwanted accidents can happen at any time and burns can result from them especially after an explosion has occurred. Now in the case you get caught and might find the need to help another, check for signs of danger first. If you are sure you are not placing yourself in a precarious situation, only then should you begin to remove the patient from the source of the burn: turn off the gas, pull them clear of the fire or roll them on the ground to extinguish flames if their clothing is alight. Remove the patient from further contact with other chemicals.

Symptoms

Know the three levels:

First-degree — the outer layer is affected, characterized by swelling, redness and pain but not excessive.

Second-degree — also known as partially thick burn, it affects both outer and primary layer of inner tissues of the skin. This time, blistering occurs.

Third-degree — full thickness; the burns extend to deeper tissues that blacken, char and numb the skin. Pain can also be a symptom of this degree but not entirely as often the most severe of burns can be painless.

Airways burn

  • Charred mouth, burned lips, burns on upper areas as head, neck or face
  • Wheezing and a significant change in voice
  • Difficulty breathing and coughing (sometimes with an abscess of blood and or dark and carbon-stained mucus)
  • Singed nose hairs, eyebrows and hairs in other areas

First Aid for Burns

1. Remove the patient from danger
Check for signs of danger. If you are sure you are not placing yourself in danger, remove the patient from the source of the burn: turn off the gas, pull them clear of the fire, roll them on the ground to extinguish flames if their clothing is alight. Remove the patient from further contact with chemicals.

2. Cool the burnt area
Hold the burn under cool, gently running water for at least 20 minutes. Whilst irrigating the burn site, gently remove clothing from the affected area. Do not attempt to remove any clothing or jewelry that is sticking to the burn.

3. Cover the burn
After irrigation, cover the affected area with a sterile, non-sticking dressing. If you don’t have access to a dressing, use a clean, smooth cloth or cling film (cling wrap).

4. Seek medical attention
Seek medical attention. For severe burns, call an ambulance- do not move the patient. Raise the burn, if a limb is affected, to reduce swelling.
Calm and re-assure the patient until medical help arrives.

Related Links

http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/injury/burns/overview.html
http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Burns-and-scalds/Pages/Symptoms.aspx
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/burns-000021.htm