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Minor and Severe Burn Treatments

  The extent of damage suffered by body tissues is the measure to distinguish a minor burn from a serious one. Burns that are considered 2nd and 3rd- degree according to the standard medical classification require immediate medical attention. For severe burn treatments are administered in the emergency care unit to prevent life-threatening conditions and to minimize permanent tissue damage.

First-degree burns are the least serious ones, in which only the outer layer of the skin is burned. Symptoms of first-degree burns are:Severe-burn-treatments_Small

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Blisters

Treatment for first-degree, minor burn can be carried out at home with over-the-counter topical agents, although sometimes it necessitates emergency medical care when portions of the hands, face, feet, groin and buttock are burned.

Treatments for minor burns, including second-degree burns with small diameter, include the following actions:

  • Cooling the burn – for 10 minutes or until the pain is gone. This reduces swelling while conducting the heat away from the injury. Do not ice the swelling.
  • Cover the burn – using a sterile gauze bandage, not cotton or any material which might get stuck in the wound. Avoid pressure.
  • Take pain relievers – for example aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen.

Compared to severe burn treatments, minor burn treatments do not involve complex medical or surgical intervention. It is important though to regularly survey the affected area and check for infections

Second-degree burns happen when the first layer of skin has burned all the way and the dermis, the second layer, is also injured. It causes symptoms such as:

  • Blisters
  • The skin is intensely reddened
  • Severe pain
  • Swelling

Extended second-degree burns require immediate medical help.

For a third-degree, severe burn treatments are always necessary in a medical facility, as it typically results in permanent tissue damage, affecting fat, muscle and sometimes bone.

Severe burn treatments are performed within the frames of emergency and intensive care.  At the emergency, the physicians will perform an assessment and stabilize the patient’s breathing and circulation. When injury of the respiratory track is suspected, intubation is performed. Further treatment of sever burns consists of wrapping the patient in clean sheets, injecting a tetanus booster and in some cases, hyperbaric oxygenation may also prove useful.

Traditional severe burn treatments include.

  • Intravenous fluids
  • Wound care
  • Medications (anti-biotic, pain medication)
  • Surgery

Until emergency help comes to aid, it is essential to stick to the following rules:

  • Elevate burned body parts above heart level
  • Cover the burned area using sterile and moistened bandages or towels
  • Make sure the victim is not exposed to smoke or heat
  • Don’t remove burned clothing
  • Check for circulation signs
  • Avoid immersing large injuries in cold water to avoid hypothermia and blood pressure deterioration.

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