Saturday, October 30, 2010

First-aid for Burns - Have a safe Diwal

Here is wishing you a safe Diwali. India sees the maximum number of burn accidents during Diwali. Here is a ready reckoner just in case there is an accident near you. Your quick action can save lives and alleviate suffering for people around you. Remember to keep a bucket of water close by when lighting crackers.

Burns destroy skin, which controls the amount of heat our bodies retain or release, holds in fluids, and protects us from infection. While minor burns on fingers and hands are usually not dangerous, burns injuring even relatively small areas of skin can develop serious complications. If you think a burn of any type is significant, do not hesitate to call an ambulance immediately.

Here are the first aid steps for treating a burn.

STAY SAFE! Do not let the rescuer get burned trying to save the victim.

Cool the burned area with cool running water for several minutes. DO NOT overcool the casualty; this may dangerously lower the body temperature.

DO NOT remove anything sticking to the burn; this may cause further damage and cause infection.

DO NOT touch or interfere with the injured area. DO NOT burst blisters.

DO NOT apply lotions, ointment, or fat to the injury.

Gently remove any rings, watches, belts, shoes, or smouldering clothing from the injured area, before it starts to swell. Carefully remove burned clothing unless it is sticking to the burn.

Cover the injury with a sterile burns sheet or other suitable non-fluffy material, to protect from infection. A clean plastic bag or kitchen film may be used. Burns to the face should be cooled with water, not covered.

Ensure that the emergency service is on its way. While waiting, treat the casualty for shock. Monitor and record breathing and pulse, and resuscitate, if necessary.

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