National health standards and elements

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Critical Burns

  • Potentially Life

    • Sensitive areas

    • Mouth and nose

    • Multiple areas

    • Breathing difficulty

    • Very old or young victims

    • Chemicals, electricity, or explosives


1. Thermal Burns

Not all thermal burns are caused by flames. Contact with hot objects, flammable vapor that ignites and causes a flash or an explosion, and steams or hot liquid are other common causes of burns.

Care for thermal Burns

 Care of First-degree and Second-degree Burns

- relieve pain by applying a wet, cold cloth. If cold water is unavailable, use any cold liquid you drink to reduce the burned skin's temperature.

 Care for Third-degree Burns

- Cover the burn with a dry, non-sticking sterile dressing or clean cloth. Treat the victim for shock by elevating the legs and keeping the victim warm with a clean sheet or blanket.2.

2. Chemical Burns

Chemicals will continue to cause tissue destruction until the chemical agent is removed.

Care for Chemical Burns

1. Immediately remove the chemical by flushing with water.

2. Remove the victim's contaminated clothing while flushing with water.

3. Flush for 20 minutes or longer. Let the victim wash with a mild soap before a final rinse.

4. Cover the burned area with a dry dressing or, for large areas, a clean pillowcase.

5. If the chemical is in the eye, flood it for at least 20 minutes using low pressure.

6. Seek medical attention immediately for all chemical burns.
Chemical Burns

  • Clean injury

    • Flush with water or brush off and remove contaminated clothing

  • Bandage and Protect

    • Loosely with sterile bandage or clean cloth

3. Electrical Burns

The injury severity from exposure to electrical current depends on the type of current (direct or alternating), the voltage, the area of the body exposed, and the duration of contact.

Care for Electrical Burns

1. Unplug, disconnect, or turn off the power. If that is possible, call the power company or ask for help.

2. Check the ABCs (Airway, Breathing, and Circulation). Provide Rescue Breathing (RB) or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) if necessary.

3. If the victim fell, check for spine injury.

4. Treat the victim for shock.

5. Seek medical attention immediately. Electrical injuries are treated in burn center.

Electrical Burns

  • May have entry and exit points and can impact heart rhythm

    • Monitor and care for shock and seek medical attention immediately

  • Bandage and Protect

    • Cover entry and exit wounds with a dry/sterile dressing

    • Disconnect any power source before approaching scene of an electrical burn


Overview: Injuries to soft tissue

  • Open Wound

  • Impaled Object

  • Closed Wound

  • Amputation

Caring for Wounds

  1. Open Wounds: Care for bleeding and infection are primary responsibilities. May need sutures

  1. Respond: Open Wounds

  1. Control Bleeding

  2. Clean Injury

    • Clean shallow wounds with soap and water

    • Do NOT clean deep wounds

  3. Bandage and Protect

    • Bandage and apply antibiotic ointment to minor wounds

  4. Sutures: Within 6-8 hours of injury leads to faster healing, reduces infection, and lessens scarring

    • Sutures not needed when

      • Skin of cut edges fall together

      • Shallow cuts less than one inch

Closed Wounds: Bleeding floods the inner tissue

  • Occurs when a blunt object strikes the body

  • Skin is not broken, but tissue and blood vessels below surface are crushed, causing flooding with nearby tissue

  1. Potentially life-threatening:

    • Multiple wounds

    • Extensive size or depth

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