A burn can cause skin or tissue damage due to a very heated material, such as a hot object, fire, chemical spill, or other hazardous component. In addition, a burn can be the result of anything from a kitchen accident to the result of an unbridled fire. No matter what the cause or method of heat, burns can cause serious damage.
It should be noted that burns come in three types, which are rated by degree of severity: first, second, and third.
We are going to focus on third-degree burns, which is the most severe burn as it damages the deepest layer of the skin and causes harm to deep tissue. If a person suffers a third-degree burn, which is noticeable by blackened or white skin, as well as numb skin, then you must call 911 immediately. Aside from that, there are also steps you can take to minimize the damage.
According to Family Education Plus, no matter what the severity of the burn, there are three main criteria to follow:
- Prevent Shock
- Ease Pain
- Reduce Risk of Infection
One must keep this in mind when treating the victim and waiting for help to arrive. As a whole, there are additional steps you can take to meet all three criteria, and steps you should avoid taking in order to prevent extended harm.
- Wrap the individual in a thick piece of material, such as a heavy cotton or wool coat. Other good substitutions are rugs, blankets, etc. This helps to stop flames, if applicable.
- Ensure that the individual is away from all burning materials.
- Refrain from removing any clothing that is physically sticking to the skin.
- Ensure that the individual is still breathing. If they are not, it is then essential to begin CPR.
- If sterile bandages are available, dress the burn area with them. If they are not, simply cover the burn area with a clean cloth.
- If the individual has burned their fingers or toes, one should separate them using a non-sticky, dry, sterile bandage.
- Raise the part of the body that is burned above the heart’s level, if applicable.
- Ensure that the individual is comfortable and a flat position, but prevent any friction or excessive pressure from occurring.
- Encourage the individual and help them stay conscious until help arrives.
What Not to Do
- Do not apply butter, ice, ointment, cream, oils, or another type of household remedy in order to aide a severe burn.
- Do not breathe, blow, or otherwise expel air onto the burn.
- Do not touch the dead or blistered skin.
- Do not remove clothing that is currently stuck to the burned skin.
- Do not give the individual anything by mouth.
- Do not apply cold water to the burn, this may result in shock.
- Do not place a pillow under the head of an individual if the burn has directly affected the airway.
Understanding these do’s and don’ts can better help you offer aid to the burn victim until the authorities arrive.
If you or a loved one have suffered a 3rd degree burn due to the neglect of another, or a dangerous product, call the Baumgartner Law Firm at (281) 587-1111 for a no obligation consultation.