Monday, September 27, 2010

Burns and First Aid

Remember, I mentioned that we made a trip to the beach this summer? Well, along the way we stopped over to visit with the in-laws for a few days. It was a nice way to break the drive in half and the hubby got to see his folks and his three brothers. (I’ll post the beach trip soon)

One evening his youngest brother hosted a family gathering so we could all get together and catch up while the kiddos played. They have a huge back patio and it makes the perfect place to cook and eat outside. This night the menu had steamed crabs and corn on the cob among other things.

The crabs were being cooked outside in a propane-powered thing that looked something like those things people are deep frying turkeys in now. Once the crabs were done the plan was to clean out the vessel and cook the corn in the same contraption. First, the crabs were lifted out in basket and then the water needed dumped out. This is where things took a turn for the worst.

As he was pouring the water out in a back corner of the yard near the compost pile, the water hit a railroad tie and bounced off spilling over right into his boot.

Quick thinking hubby grabbed the bucket holding the soda bottles, drink boxes and half melted ice. By this time his brother had made his way over to the hose and was already running cold water over his burn. Unfortunate, when he removed his boot and his sock, a layer of skin pealed off as well.

It was horrible to witness. The panic and the feelings of helplessness were overwhelming. Thankfully, none of the kids were close enough to be in any danger. My sister-in-law took her hubby to the hospital for a quick clean up and bandaging then they were back home in time to enjoy a few crabs and some corn on the cob. (And a beer or two)

He suffered a second-degree burn on the top of his foot and ankle. Because of the position of the burn he need to take a few days off from work to keep from moving his foot. The first several days were the most painful but he is doing just fine now.

It was a fluke accident but isn’t that how these things usually go???

Below I have listed a few tips on recognizing the degree of a burn and some basic first aid. I hope you never need to use this info.

1st Degree burn:

The surface or outer most layer of skin is damaged but still intact

Most health care providers will do little to nothing for a first-degree burn. Run cold water immediately to easy the pain and then only time will heal. Some people like to use burn cream or the ointment from an aloe-vera plant.

2nd Degree

A second-degree burn means the damage has extended through the epidermis to the second layer of skin. Second-degree burns also are known as partial-thickness burns. There is a loss of skin function due to open skin
Blisters are the first sign of a second-degree burn. As the epidermis is destroyed, it begins to separate from the dermis. Fluid builds beneath it, causing blisters. Eventually, the blisters will spread into one another until the very thin epidermis falls away, exposing the raw dermis underneath.
Once the epidermis has separated from the raw dermis, the victim begins to lose fluid, heat, and the ability to block infection. The raw nerve cells of the dermis also mean second-degree burns are the most painful.

To treat, submerge the burned area in cold water (as cold as possible). Keep the cold water on the burn until medical help arrives. If the burns are minor, keep them in cold water for at least five minutes.
If the burns are extensive, you can apply a cool, wet cloth to the affected area—but only if the dressing is wrapped in plastic. Cloth tends to adhere to burns, and it can worsen the pain if a physician has to pull it off to treat the burn.
If the burns are minor, you can treat them in the same way you'd treat first-degree ones. You won't need medical help. Simply pat the area dry and place a loose sterile cloth over it and possible take something to reduce the pain.

3rd Degree

Here the burn has destroyed both the epidermis and dermis. The victim has the same trouble with fluid loss, heat loss, and infection that come with second-degree burns. Third-degree burns also cause nerve death, so the victim may not be able to feel anything in the area of the burn.

Check for swelling. First-degree burns cause only mild swelling, while second-degree burns produce moderate swelling. Third-degree burns cause severe swelling, and fourth-degree burns cause no swelling.
Assess level of pain. Both first- and second-degree burns cause pain. With third- and fourth-degree burns, pain is generally absent because nerve cells have been damaged.
Look for blisters. Second-degree burns produce them, while the other three classifications do not result in blistering.

4th Degree burs have total loss of skin Call 911!!!!!! Keep victim as calm as possible until help arrives.

Stay Safe!


Teaching Heart Mom said...


Intense Guy said...


I'm glad that the "first aid squad" was so prompt and it wasn't a little one.

I've been sick the past week - sorry to be so late reading this. I hope your Brother in Law is back on his feet and work.

Heather said...

Thanks for the great info on handling emergency situations - I'm going to try to memorize it all now so that I can react quickly in an emergency. Thank you and hope BIL heals quickly!

Stephanie said...

Oh I winced as I read this. So important to review these skills. Thanks for posting and I am so glad I popped by today!

Liz Mays said...

HOw absolutely awful! I'm so glad there was a quick reaction to it. It probably really made a difference on the level of severity!

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Oh hun I'm so glad he is feeling better but what an experience.

The fluke is what always seems to happen to me.