BENGALURU: Burns are common during Deepavali. Here’s what you must keep in mind to prevent injuries, and/or to help people when they are injured. There can be first, second and third degree burns especially to parts of the face, neck, and limbs while handling fireworks or lamps.
Immediate first aid
Keep the affected area under cold tap water for a minimum of 10-20 minutes or immerse the affected part in ice water for about
After washing and cooling under water, if the burnt area is raw, use a cling film or sterile plastic bag to cover the affected area until you reach the hospital.
Silverex ointment can be applied over the wound before getting to the hospital after adequately cooling
If the size of the affected area of burns is more than the size of your palm then please get medical help immediately.
- Touch the burn with unsterile hands
- Use any lotions, creams or ointments
- Use any adhesive dressing
(The writer is the clinical lead - consultant and in-charge, Department of Emergency Medicine, Kauvery Hospital, Chennai)
BURNS INVOLVING CLOTHING
If the clothing of the affected person has caught fire, then give immediate first aid that involves the following steps:
STOP: the person whose clothing is on fire from running in panic to prevent spread of the flames.
DROP: the casualty to the floor.
WRAP: them in a blanket/coat/rug — a fabric that isn’t flammable.
ROLL: the casualty to put out the fire and flames.
- Call for an ambulance.
- Start the cooling process with a shower or hose pipe with water over the affected areas.
- Remove any constricting jewellery or items over the affected individual.
- If a patient develops signs of altered sensorium, has decreased responsiveness or breathing difficulty, they should be taken to hospital immediately to avoid life-threatening outcomes.
Keep in mind
Don’t rub the affected area.
Don’t pull off clothing if it is stuck to the affected area.
Don’t apply salt, coconut oil or turmeric powder to the affected area.
Don’t burst blisters, if any are formed.
Do not ignore if burns affect children and the elderly.
Do not ignore deeper degrees of burns as such individuals will require immediate medical attention.