Information of Burn Treatment

Published: 14th December 2011
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Burns can happen when the skin is exposed to heat (from fire or hot liquids), electricity, corrosive chemicals, or radiation (UV rays from the sun or tanning beds, or radiation treatments). A burn is damage to the skinís tissues, usually caused by excessive heat. Recognizing different types of Burn Treatment and having a basic knowledge of how to treat them can minimize injury and prevent fatalities.
Heat is the most obvious cause of burn injuries. This can be direct contact with fires, radiators or hot liquids, but also the radiated heat from an extreme source of heat, such as a furnace or open fire. Burns can also be caused by chemicals, electricity, the sunís rays, friction (rubbing or chafing) or extreme cold.
Burns usually affect the skin, but other important areas of the body can also be injured. For example, the airways and lungs can be damaged as a result of inhaling hot fumes and gases.
Types of Burns
Burns are usually a result of one of the following:
Scalds - Scalds are the most common cause of burns. They occur when skin comes into contact with hot liquids. Scalds with hot oil are generally more severe than with hot water because oil heats to higher temperatures than water, and the thicker liquid may remain on the skin for a longer period of time. Similarly, covered areas of skin can yield severe burns because clothing retains heat, keeping scalding liquid in contact with the skin longer. Even steam can cause a severe scalding injury.
Thermal - Flame and Flash -Flame is the next most common cause of burn injuries. Likely sources include careless smoking, improper use of flammable liquids, auto accidents or clothing ignited by stoves or space heaters. Flash follows closely behind flame with injuries from natural gas explosions, propane and gasoline. Flash flames can cause intense heat over a brief time. Clothing, unless ignited, often protects skin in this type of burn.
Contact - Many burns are caused by contact with hot objects such as metal, plastic, glass and hot coals.
Electrical - Contact with live wires or unprotected electrical outlets can also cause burn injuries. The severity of these types of burns depends on the intensity of the electrical current and the duration of exposure.
Chemical - Most often, chemical burns occur during industrial accidents, but they can also occur in the home with common battery acids, oils and gases. Chemical burns can cause progressive damage until the chemical is inactivated. The severity of this type of burn depends on the kind of chemical, length of exposure and amount of tissue involved.
Ultraviolet - Severe burns can result from overexposure to sun or tanning equipment.
Inhalation Injury - This injury occurs when someone is trapped in an enclosed space with toxic gas or fumes from a fire or chemical leak. These gases can produce a chemical burn causing an inflammatory response to a person's respiratory system. Initially, inhalation injuries may be masked by other outer burns. However, damage may appear within two to 48 hours after a burn injury.
Personal safety should be the first priority of anyone offering first-aid to a person with burns. It is important to be aware of any ongoing risks of fire, chemicals, or electricity. There may also be risk of toxic fumes or explosion, for example, due to nearby petrol or gas supply.
The next step is to stop the burning process. Any clothing that is not stuck to the burn should be carefully removed. The affected body surface areas should then be flooded with cold water until medical help, if necessary, is available. The skin usually swells after a burn so it is important to remove anything constricting such as jewelry.
Do not attempt to burst any blisters that form on burnt skin. If a burn is caused by a chemical, the chemical should be removed, by brushing it away if it is a dry powder, or flooding with large amounts of cold water.

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