What to Do After a Burn Injury
Burns can be deadly. According to the National Institute of Health, about 3,800 people die each year from burns, with about 300 deaths stemming from vehicle crashes.
Even if not fatal, many burns can cause pain and leave behind disfigurement or severe scarring. Unfortunately, the steps burn victims take after an accident often contribute to the severity of their injuries. Read on for more information about what you should—and should not—do after a burn injury.
Avoid Putting Butter on a Burn
One folk remedy for burns is to put butter on them. Actually, putting butter on a burn is one of the worst things you can do.
The key to treating a burn is to immediately cool down the skin. If the burn is bad, then it has gone through both layers of skin and affected the tissue underneath the skin. This tissue remains hot even if you manage to immediately cool the outer layer of skin.
Butter in particular can trap in heat—which will only lead to more damage to healthy body tissue. Leave the butter for your morning toast.
Cool a Burn with Water
The most efficient way to cool a burn is to use cool water. Avoid using cold water. You can also immerse the affected limb in cool water, which might be easiest if you were burned on the hands, feet, arms, or legs.
If no running water is available, then use a cool compress. For example, you can pour water into a piece of cloth and then press the cloth to the burn.
Remember to continue to cool a burn even if the outer layer feels cool. The affected deep tissue might remain hot.
Removed Burned Clothing Carefully
Often, a burn can melt clothing onto the skin. Tearing off clothing can peel the skin off the body, which you obviously want to avoid. Instead, remove clothing only if safe to do so. If parts of clothing are stuck to the body, then cut around them. Emergency personnel can work on removing clothing that has melted with the skin.
Call Emergency Services
You can treat a minor burn at home. If the burn is two inches or smaller, then you can apply a sterile bandage after cooling the burn. Take over-the-counter medications to manage pain.
Always watch for infection. If the area around the burn becomes reddish or painful, or if puss begins leaking from the burn, then go immediately to the doctor. Your doctor can give you antibiotics to treat any infection.
For burns that are larger than two inches (or burns that are very deep), you should call 9-1-1 and get to a hospital immediately. Serious burns can lead to amputations or require skin grafts, so it is best to get medical treatment as soon as possible.
Experienced Daytona Beach Burn Injury Lawyers
At Bundza & Rodriguez in Daytona Beach, we have represented many burn injury victims, and we appreciate how difficult it is to fully recover. We can hold the appropriate defendant responsible for your injuries by building a case for compensation.
To speak to one of our attorneys, please contact us today. We offer free, confidential initial consultations.