FIRST AID FOR BURNS
Burns are very painful injuries. Severe burns can cause enormous damage to the body and inflict terrible pain and suffering with serious long-term consequences. Prompt first aid for burns is vital.
Burns are classified according to depth. A first degree burn is superficial and results in localized inflammation. There will be pain, swelling and redness. However, the integrity of the skin will not be impaired.
A second degree burn is deeper, penetrating below the outer layers of the skin. In addition to pain, swelling and redness, there will be evident blistering.
A third degree burn is the most serious, penetrating all layers of the skin. The skin is destroyed and the underlying nerves, blood vessels and tissue are damaged. Often there is little pain associated with a 3rd degree burn because the nerves have been severely damaged.
In addition to depth, the total area of the burn is also important. Because the skin is the body's first line of defense, any burn opens up the body to the risk of serious infection. If more than 20% of the body is burned, a substantial amount of body fluid can be lost, resulting in shock.
Here are some essential steps in giving first aid for burns:
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