Burns & Scalds

A burn is a skin damage due to direct heat. When caused by hot liquids, it is called a scald. Other causes of burns include fire, hot steam, chemical substances, electricity, radiation (including sunburns). Even prolonged contact with ice or other cold substances can cause burns, so-called ice or freeze burns. 

In adults, the most common cause of burns is fire or hot gases, in children and older people the most common injury is scalding. Most burns happen at home or at work. 

FIRST AID MEASURES

Start first aid measures for burns as quickly as possible: the quicker you cool a burn, the more you are lessening the impact of the injury. 

  • Cool the burn under handwarm running water for at least ten minutes or until the pain eases (which could take 30 to 60 minutes)
  • If you’re out and don’t have water on hand, you can use any cool liquid, think milk, orange juice, even a fizzy drink.
  • Remove clothing only if they don’t stick (check later if necessary but cool first)
  • Cooling a burn quickly and long enough can be life-saving. 
  • Even simple burns must be cooled before starting any other measures.
  • Stop cooling a burn of the person starts to shiver and shake from being undercooled. 

  • If available, cover the burns area with a sterile dressing,  with cling film or a clean plastic bag to reduce pain and help prevent infection. Bandage it loosely. 
  • Do not use home remedies like talcum powered, butter or oils.

Posted on October 19, 2019 by Luitgard Holzleg

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