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First Aid

Absorbed Poisons
Asthma Attack
Bites And Stings From Marine Creatures
Bites and Stings
Burns and Scalds
Corrosive, Petrol-Based Substances
Cuts, Scratches, Abrasions and Wounds
Diabetic Emergencies
Drug Overdose
Ear Problems
Electric Shock
Extreme Overexposure
Eye Injuries
Fish Hook Injury
Fractured Ribs
Head and Facial Injuries
Heart Attack
Heart Failure
Heat Exhaustion
Inhaled Poisons
Insect Bites And Stings
Medicinal or General Substances
Open (Sucking) Chest Wounds
Overexposure to Cold
Road Accidents
Sea Snakes
Spider Bites
Spinal Injuries
Sprains and Dislocations
Swallowed Objects
Tick Paralysis
Tooth Injuries

Burns and Scalds

Burns are caused by dry heat from flames, heated metal electricity, lightning and radiation. Caustic chemicals can also cause burns.

Scalds are caused by moist heat from boiling liquids or steam. Both burns and scalds cause death of the tissue they affect, and this may be superficial or extend deeply into the body.

Burns are serious injuries that may be complicated by infection; if extensive, they can result in SHOCK and dehydration. Burns that extend beneath the skin lead to scarring.

Signs and symptoms

  • Skin looks red and blistered if only the outer layers are affected.
  • Skin looks dark red, blackened or charred if several layers are burnt.
  • There is pain if the burn or scald is superficial, but deep burns may be less painful if nerve endings have been destroyed.
  • Shock can develop soon after extensive burns occur.

First aid treatment

  1. If you can do so safely, remove the casualty from danger and the source of heat.
  2. If clothes are on fire, protect yourself by holding a blanket or floor rug in front of you when approaching the casualty. Wrap the blanket or rug around the person to smother the names, and lower him or her to the ground. If you have no choice but to use water, pour rather than throw it over the casualty, to reduce the risk of creating scalding steam.
  3. For chemical burns, wash off the caustic substance immediately with a large amount of flowing water from a tap or hose. Remove contaminated clothing, protecting your hands with rubber gloves or folds of cloth.
  4. If the burnt person is unconscious, place in the lateral position, check the airway, breathing and pulse and begin expired air resuscitation (EAR) or cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if necessary.
  5. Carefully remove burnt clothing unless it is adhering to the skin.
  6. Cool the burnt area with cold, but not iced, water-ideally by placing the burn under gently running water for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Cover the burn with a sterile, non-adherent dressing, then bandage lightly. Do not apply ointments, lotions or creams.
  8. If the casualty is conscious and thirsty, give sips of water, but no alcohol.
  9. For all except minor burns and scalds, seek medical aid immediately.

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