First aid for burns

Common causes of burns include exposure to tire, hot metals, chemicals, electricity and radiation. Burns caused by hot liquid or steam is referred to as scales

Burns are classified according to the depth of the tissue damage and the extent of damage to the involved area.

A first-degree burn, which involves only the surface of the skin, is characterized by reddening; a second degree burn by blistering, and a third-degree burn by charing and destruction of the cellproducing layer of the skin. The severity of a burn depends also on the involved area, which is expressed as a percentage of the total body surface. Severe burns cause shock and loss of body fluids. A person suffering third-degree burns involving more than 10 percent of the body surface may die and must be hospitalized as soon as possible.

The object of first aid in burns is to prevent shock, contamination of the burned tissue and pain. Burns should be cooled to minimize tissue damage asquickly as possible and for a prolonged period. The best way to do this, if practicable, is to put the affected part under a cold running tap. Application of ice packs or immersion in ice water eases pain. Then a thick sterile dressing without medication may be applied to the burned area to prevent further contamination. in the treatment of severe burns, wet dressings or ointments must be avoided. Instead. sterile dressings should be applied and bandaged in place and medical attention should be sought immediately.

The degree of injury from sunburn usually does not range beyond painful blistering. For cases of milk sunburn the application of a cold aftersun gel brings relief; more serious cases should be seen by a doctor. First aid for chemical burns begins with immediate and profuse bathing of the burned parts to dilute and remove the corrosive chemical. Burns that result from exposure to electricity should be treated in the same manner as burns from exposure in fire.