Severe burns and scalds--First Aid Guide

Recognition

Pain around the affected area.
Difficulty in breathing.
Signs of shock.

Priorities

Stop the burning.
Relieve the pain.
Maintain an open airway.
Treat associated injuries.
Prevent injections.
Urgent transfer to hospital.

Steps in administering aid

    Severe burns and scalds
  • Put on sterile gloves.
  • Help the casualty to lie down.
  • If possible, try to prevent the burnt area from coming in contact with the ground.
  • Cool the burn with plenty of cold harmless liquid (water is advised) for at least 10 minutes, but do not delay the casualty’s transfer to hospital.
  • Call for help.
  • Continue cooling the affected area until the pain is relieved.
  • Gently remove any rings, watches, belts, shoes, or smoldering clothing before the tissues begin to swell.
  • Carefully remove burnt clothing, unless it is sticking to the burn.
  • Cover the injured area with a sterile dressing to protect it from infection. If a sterile dressing is not available use a folded triangular bandage, part of a sheet, or kitchen film. A clean plastic bag can be used to cover a hand or a foot, secure it with a bandage or adhesive tape applied over the plastic, not the skin.
  • Gather and record details of casualty’s injuries.
  • Regular monitor and record his/her vital signs until help arrives.
  • Reassure the casualty.
  • Do not over-cool the casualty. Because you may lower the body temperature to a dangerous level. This is a particular hazard for babies and elderly people.
  • Do not remove anything sticking to the burn as you may cause further damage and introduce infection into the burnt area.
  • Do not touch or otherwise interfere with the burnt area.
  • Do not break any blisters.
  • Do not apply lotions, ointment, fat or adhesive tape to the burnt area.

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