1 Nov 2016


The First Step To Follow In Case Of Burns

               The guide to resuscitation from burns

Dowry deaths, suicidal tendencies, electric burns, accidental burns, well these are the commonly heard cases you read in the newspaper almost every other week , about a case which was subjected to a burn trauma. When one looks in to the pictures of a case of burns patients, a person, weak at heart will probably be traumatised for life.

 Well, instead of succumbing to the human fearful terrors, the rather right thing to do is make efforts to help out the victim of this dreadful accident. Here are a few basic resuscitation measures you need to know whenever you encounter such a situation:

-         CALL 102 !! In case there’s a fire tragedy, dial 101!
-         Introduce cool water on this fresh burn: when cold water flows on the affected tissue, the local temperature reduces which helps in reducing inflammation. Alternatively, one can place a damp towel on the injured part.

-         Protect the burned victims from any further harm- 
     Take the victim away from the site of injury. In case of continuous burns , throw a splash  of water right at the victim. Don’t make an attempt to separate the clothes from the body.

-         DO NOT use other fluids to provide the necessary relief

       As stupid as it sounds, there’s been a common history of cases resorting to this idea. The idea of applying soft drinks in such patients isn’t infrequent and they should make sure such measures are not taken. The soft drinks usually have a high sugar content which is nothing but an excellent media for bacteria to grow and infection to prosper. Applying sand on the burnt area is also a common practice because it is believed that the calcium carbonate from the soil helps in stabilising the injury. That is true but it also comes with the dreadful risk of infection, and thus best be avoided. 

     Remove all tight appendages

-         Any tight items such as rings, wrist bands, other jewellery etc should be taken out as soon as possible. This avoids development of swelling

-         Retain those blisters- 
     The small ones, especially the ones smaller than your fingernails have to be preserved.  In case they break, apply some antibiotic ointment after washing it with soap. The pain inferred needs to be dealt with because this step is important in preventing infection
-         Apply a moisturizer or an aloe vera gel- this is simply a symptomatic reliever, which gives a cooling sensation of to the injured area.

These are the basic measures you need to take before the ambulance arrives. Mean while the breathing and the circulation needs to be checked by noticing the respiration and checking the pulse. Burn cases are an emergency , the only exception being when it’s a minor burn. The smaller the delay for hospitalisation , the better  the prognosis.