First Aid for Accidents and Injuries In Houston Part 1- How to Treat Burns

First Aid for Accidents and Injuries In Houston

Part 1- How to Treat Burns

Houston has so much to look forward to in the new decade and we’re excited to be an active part of this community as we grow and develop together. We want to help not only make this our most successful decade of growth, but also a decade of empowerment for everyday people to do extraordinary things. For this reason, we thought we’d spend some time on a series of articles addressing how you can be prepared for the most common accidents and injuries that might befall you or your loved ones.  

Be sure to note that these are only first response actions and should always be looked at by a doctor as soon as possible. Each one has the possibility of increased injury or illness never be afraid to call 911 if a situation is life-threatening. 

The truth is that any first aid given is not to be meant as treatment. Only a doctor should be treating burns and other injuries. But, that’s why it’s necessary that we protect and stabilize the wound until a doctor can treat it. 

For burns, the first thing to do is to put out the fire or remove the heating element from the situation. Stop-drop-roll is still a valid practice if the person is on fire. Time should to be taken to have everyone leave the area. 

The injured person should have any burnt or restricting clothing removed from the burn area. 

The next step is to deliberate the intensity of the burn. First, second, and third-degree burns are all treated differently.

  • 1st Degree- Only affects the top layer of skin.

    •   Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water
      •  Use compresses if running water isn’t available.
    • Cover with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
    •  Do not apply butter, oil lotions, or creams (especially if they contain fragrance). 
      • Apply a petroleum-based ointment two to three times per day.
    •    See a doctor if
      • The hands, feet, face, or genitals are burned.
      •  signs of infection, like increased pain, redness, swelling, fever, or oozing.
      • The person needs a tetanus or booster shot.
      • The burn blister is larger than two inches. 
      • Redness and pain last more than a few hours or the pain gets worse.
  • 2nd Degree-Affects the top and second layer of skin

    • Lay the person flat. And secure the area and the people around the incident.
    • Elevate victims feet about 12 inches. 
      • Elevate the burned area above the heart level, if possible.
    •  Cover the person with a coat or blanket.
    • Immersed in cool water for 10 or 15 minutes. 
      • Don’t apply ice. It can lower body temperature and cause further pain and damage. 
    • Don’t break any blisters or apply butter or ointments, which can cause infection.
      • Cover loosely with a sterile, non-stick bandage and secure in place with gauze or tape.
    • See a Doctor Immediately
  • 3rd Degree- Burn goes through all layers of the skin

    • Call 911 and secure the area, bystanders and victim.
    • Check pulse and breathing to monitor for shock until emergency help arrives.
    • Lay the person flat.
    • Elevate feet about 12 inches.
    • Elevate the burned area above the heart level, if possible.
    • Cover the person with a coat or blanket.
    • Cover burned area loosely with a sterile, non-stick bandage or, for large areas, a sheet or other material that won’t leave lint in wound.
    • Separate burned toes and fingers with dry, sterile dressings.
    • Do not soak the burn in water or apply ointments or butter, which can cause infection.
    • Have a person with a facial burn sit up.

Remember that with any burn it is best to see a doctor to make sure the first aid was administered correctly and it is especially important if there is confusion or worry about the injury. You do not have to have an appointment to walk-in and see one of our doctors here at Clinica Del Sol for minor burn treatment

Check out our next article in the series: First Aid for Accidents and Injuries In Houston Part 2- What You Should do if Someone Falls

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