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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

First Aid for Commercial Fire Burn Victims

8/27/2019 (Permalink)

First aid kit, green with white letters First aid for minor burns

Experiencing a fire in the workplace or other commercial building in Overland Park, KS, can be traumatic, both physically and emotionally. While trying to protect property from fire damage, or simply while trying to leave the building, occupants can easily suffer burns or other injuries. Burns are painful and can be extremely dangerous, so proper and immediate treatment is imperative.

Determining Burn Severity

Once help arrives, medics will look to apply first aid to those with the most severe injuries first. There are four categories ranked by severity that determine the necessary burn first aid course of treatment:

First-degree: superficial burns similar to a sunburn that only affects the topmost layers of skin
Second-degree: deeper burns that cause blisters, have a shiny red appearance, are swollen, and are painful to the touch
Third-degree: less painful because it damages nerve endings, this burn will appear black, brown, white, or yellow
Fourth-degree: potentially life threatening because the burn has penetrated through all layers of skin and damaged bones, muscles, and tendons

Treating Dangerous Burns

Those suffering from the most severe burns could stop breathing. If this happens, find someone who knows CPR to help the victim. Others may go into shock, need protection from extreme cold, or may be wearing restrictive items such as jewelry or belts. Always keep burn victims safe from further harm, remove anything restrictive, and keep their injuries elevated, clean, and cool. Ensure treatments are not too cold, as the burn area will be susceptible to hypothermia.

Additional Treatment Options

Fire damage to the skin should always be treated quickly and properly even in less severe cases due to the risk of infection. For first- and second-degree burns, apply a cool wet compress to the area. If aloe and bandages are available, apply those as well, and always take care to not break any blisters. Quick, thoughtful action immediately following a fire will help give all burn victims the best possible chance to recover from the incident.

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