Burn injuries are caused by forces such as heat, chemicals, friction, or electricity. They can range from mild to severe, depending on the degree of severity. According to the website of the Cazayoux Ewing Law Firm, burn injuries may require either emergency or prolonged medical care. Except for first degree burns, all other injuries may often require medical attention in order to properly assess and treat the burn. Here are some tips on treating burn injuries:
For minor burns:
- Hold the affected area under cool (not cold) running water for 10 to 15 minutes or until the pain subsides. Another option is to apply a clean towel dampened with cool tap water.
- Ensure that the burned area is free from rings and other items. Do this gently and quickly before swelling appears in the affected area.
- Avoid breaking small blisters. If they do, gently apply mild soap and water to the broken blisters. After cleaning the area, apply an antibiotic treatment and then cover with a nonstick gauze bandage.
- In some cases, moisturizers or aloe vera lotion or gel can also help relieve the pain
- If necessary, take an over the counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, or acetaminophen.
- Get a tetanus shot. Ensure that you are updated with your tetanus booster.
For second to fourth degree burns, call 911 or seek emergency medical assistance. While waiting, do the following procedures:
- Ensure that the victim is free from exposure to smoldering materials, smoke, or heat.
- Monitor circulation. Check breathing, coughing, or movement. Perform CPR if needed.
- Remove jewelry, belts, and other restrictive items. Burned areas are prone to rapid swelling.
- Keep the burned heart elevated, If possible, raise it above heart level.
- Cover the burned area with a cool, moist, bandage, or a clean cloth.
If you are not sure whether the injury is major or minor, check the extent of tissue damage based on the following burn characteristics:
- First degree burn involves only the skin’s outer layers. It comes with redness, swelling, and pain. When it involves the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or a major joint, this may require immediate medical attention.
- For second degree burns that is no bigger than 3 inches, consider it as a minor burn. But if it is larger and takes up most of the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks or a major joint, it is a major burn that requires immediate medical attention.
- 3rd degree burns involves all the skin layers and the underlying fat. It may affect the bones and muscles. It is accompanied by difficulty in breathing, carbon monoxide poisoning, and other toxic effects.
For major burns, medical assistance is required to prevent infection which may cause further complications. Maintaining the cleanliness of the burn wounds is important during the healing process. The dressing needs frequent change to keep the wound from getting infected. If you have a severe wound, you would stay under a doctor’s care until your conditions improve.Read More