Burns – First Aid Blog Series

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This is the second part of our first aid blog series and we're going to be talking about burns in this post. Almost every one has had a burn at some time in there life. Some burns can be severe and others while they can still be painful are rather minor burns. Below is a list of the different degrees of burns from least to most severe:

Degrees of Burns

  • 1st Degree

This is the least severe burn of the three types and can generally be self treated. Common signs of 1st degree burns include: redness, swelling and some pain.

  • 2nd Degree

This is a moderate burn you will generally see splotches of red and white colores, swelling, blisters may form and pain is prominent.

  • 3rd Degree

This is the most severe form of burn and medical attention should be sought after immediately. A 3rd degree burn can affect all layers of skin; fat tissue, muscle and bone are also commonly affected with 3rd degree burns. With this type of burn the skin will appear charred and the person can show signs of difficult breathing.

Types of Burns

Don't confuse this with the degree of a burn we'll cover that shortly, but here are the three main types of burns that we'll take a look at here:

  • Thermal
burns thermal
  • Electrical
burns electrical
  • Chemical
burns chemical

Thermal Type Burns

This is probably one of the most common and well known types of burns we're going to cover in this post. A thermal burn will occur when your skin comes into contact with of course something hot like a pan just taken out of the oven or even a cup of hot coffee that is spilled onto you.

Treatment

Depending on the severity of your burn you'll want to take the appropriate steps to treat them. For a 1st degree burn they will generally heal on their own but it couldn't hurt to rub a little aloe vera gel on them to help with the healing process. Now for a 2nd degree burn you are going to want to remove any clothing and jewelry. It's best to wash the area with some cool water and lather on some aloe vera gel daily. Also be sure not to rupture the blister as an infection could start in the area. In the event of a 3rd degree burn treat for shock and transport the victim to a medical facility.

Electrical Type Burns

An Electrical burn is different from other burns in that they are almost similar to a gun shot wound. That is there will be an entrance wound and an exit wound. The way this happens is lets say someone brushes their hand across a live wire for some 277v lighting. The current in that live wire will enter their hand and create the entrance wound and then will continue to find its way to ground via the easiest way creating an exit wound. Electrical shock can not only cause some severe external damage but can do some nasty internal damage as well.

Treatment

To treat an electrical burn first make sure that the circuit related to this injury is turned off so that you don't become part of the circuit as well when trying to help the victim. After this you're going need to check for signs of a heart beat and breathing as electricity can easily stop the heart. If their is no pulse you should begin CPR immediately. Otherwise you can treat these types of burns the same as you would a thermal burn.

Chemical Type Burns

Chemical burns can be caused by any number of things from bleach to gasoline so its important to know how to treat a burn of this type when we come into contact with these products on a daily basis. For some minor chemical burns you may not see any symptoms for several hours.

Treatment

First cleanse the area of the chemical causing the burn and remove any clothing. Then wash the burn thoroughly with cool water for around ten minutes. You should then cover the burn loosely with a bandage or some gauze. If you have severe chemical burn you should seek medical attention right away.  

While not always possible we should try and get to a medical facility to help treat us but if you're in a situation where you need to act fast I hope this helps you learn to treat burns and recognize the symptoms. Thanks for reading.

-Brady

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