What’s the First Aid process for treating a dry burn?
Dry burns are caused by flames or hot objects. They can be painful, swelling and blistering wounds. So what’s best practice when it comes to burn First Aid?
1. Stop the burning process
2. Cool with running water
3. Cover the burn
Stop the burning process
Stop, Drop and roll the patient to put out any flames. Cover the face top protect the airways.
Remove burnt clothing unless it is stuck to the wound.
Remove any jewellery, watches etc before swelling occurs.
Cool with running water
Cooling the burn wound is an effective way of reducing pain and the depth of the burn.
Cool the area with cold running water for 20 minutes (If they start to shiver stop the irrigation)
Where cool running water is not available or after 20 minutes it is useful to use a hydrogel burn gel on the burn wound.
• A note on hydrogels:
During your first aid course you may have been told to not apply anything the burn wound like butter, oil or creams. This is because they trap heat and can worsen the injury. They are also not water soluble and would have to be scraped off in the emergency ward. (ouch!) Hydrogels are water based and therefore water soluble so they can be easily rinsed off. Hydrogel burn gels are cooling and analgesic containing over 90% water and include Tea tree oil as an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory.
Cover the burn
If the surface is blistered or raw you will need to cover it with a sterile non adherent dressing. Don’t burst the blister!
There are also dressings available that are infused with hydrogels to continue the cooling process and begin a healing process.