Basic First Aid for Burn Care
When your Layton, UT business suffers a fire, fire damage isn’t your only concern. People may be injured, and you may have to contend with first aid on the spot while waiting for help. But what kind of aid can you provide for burns, and how can you tell a minor burn from a major burn?
The difference between minor and major burns.
Minor burns may look no worse than a sunburn. They’re usually mildly reddened, with some blistering and pain. To qualify as a minor burn, the burn should be no more than 3 inches in diameter. While it’s best to seek professional medical care, initial emergency burn first aid for minor burns involves:
• Using a cold wet compress or cool water to reduce the temperature of the burned area
• Quickly getting rid of any clothing or tight jewelry that may compress or abrade the area
• Using lotion to soothe, preferably something water-based with aloe
• Covering the wound with a bandage; keep it loose and use sterile gauze
• Being careful not to apply enough pressure to break blisters
• Providing pain relief with over-the-counter meds as needed
Major burns cause deep traumatic harm, and usually make the skin crisped or leathery. Some patches may appear black, brown, or white char. Major burns are larger than 3 inches, and can be fatal. Steps you should take include:
• Immediately calling 911
• Moving the victim away from the source of the burn or fire damage
• Checking for steady respiration; use CPR/rescue breathing if needed
• Cutting or pulling clothing and restrictive accessories away from burned areas
• Gently covering the burn area with a cool, damp cloth or bandage
• Elevating the burn area above heart level
• Monitoring for shock
Things Not to Do
Be careful that investigating fire damage doesn’t lead to personal injury for yourself. For burn victims, do not submerge major burns in water as this can lead to hypothermia. Never use anything grease-based to cover the burn; grease can seal the heat of the burn against the skin.