First Aid - Burns
Common causes of burns include exposure to fire, hot metals,
chemicals, electricity, and radiation. The first-aid treatment of
burns depends on the severity of the injury. Burns are classified,
in order of increasing severity as:
- First Degree, which involves only the
surface of the skin, is characterized by reddening.
- Second Degree, which involves reddening of
the injured skin and blistering.
- Third-degree: The injury has a white or
The danger from burns depends more on the extent of the burns
than on the degree. Superficial burns over a large area are more
dangerous than complete charring of a part of a limb. On any one
person, different parts of the body may show varying degree of
To calculate the extent of burns the "Rule of Nines" is used. The
figure below explains the "Rule of Nines".
The object of first aid in burns is to prevent shock,
contamination of the burned tissue, and pain.
Management of Extensive Burns
Keep the patient quiet and reassure him.
Wrap him up in a clean cloth.
Do not remove adhering particles of charred clothing.
Cover the burnt area with a sterile or clean dressing and bandage. In the case of burns that cover a large part of the body it is sufficient to cover the area with a clean sheet or towel.
Keep the patient warm but do not over heat.
If the hands are involved, keep them above the level of the victim's heart.
Keep burnt feet or legs elevated.
If the victim's face is burnt, sit or prop him up and keep him under continuous observation for breathing difficulty. If respiratory problems develop, an open airway should be
maintained (See Artificial Respiration).
Do not immerse the extensively burnt area or apply ice water over it because cold may intensify the shock reaction. However a cold pack may be applied to the face or hands or feet.
Do not open the blisters on the victim's skin.
Treat for Shock.
Seek medical assistance, especially if:
Burns cover move than one body part
Burns are on the hands, feet, or genitals
Remove quickly from the body anything of constricting nature like rings, bangles, belt and boots. If this is not done early, it may be difficult later on as the limbs begin to swell.
If medical help or trained personnel cannot reach the scene for an hour or more and the victim is conscious and not vomiting, give him a weak solution of salt and soda (one level teaspoonful of salt and half a level teaspoonful of baking soda to each quart of water, neither hot nor cold) at home and
en-route to the hospital. Allow him to sip slowly.
Give about four to five ounces to an adult over a period of 15 minutes, two ounces to a child between one and twelve years of age and one ounce to an infant below one year. Discontinue the fluid if vomiting occurs. Do not apply ointments, grease or any other material over the wound.
Management of Minor Burns and Scalds
Clean the area gently with clean water.
Submerge the burnt area in cold water.
Do not apply cotton wool directly over the burnt area.
Do not apply any greasy substance.
Give the patient warm drinks.
Homoeopathic Remedies for First and Second Degree Burns
Apply Cantharis Q or Urtica
Uren Q (mixed with water 1: 4 parts of water) as lotion and
kept it wet without being removed. Internally Cantharis
30 along with Mixture of Kali Mur 3x or
6x & Nat. Mur 3x or 6x at frequent intervals. Biochemic
Nat Phos 3x or 6x mixed in water can be applied locally to
prevent blisters with great success.
Later on if there are occurrences of secondary
infection in wounds apply Calendula Q
mixed with Water or cream.
For post burn CICATRICES: Causticum 30C, 200C, 1M
Management of Chemical Burns
Wash off the chemical with a large quantity of water by using a shower or hose if available as quickly as possible. This flooding with water will wash away much of the irritants. Wash the injury for at least 10 minutes.
Cut out contaminated clothing.
Do not touch the burnt area.
Treat as for Burns.
Take the victim to a physician immediately.
Q for local application(1:4 water ratio). Carbolic
Acid 30C, Picric Acid 30C, and Causticum 30C internally. From X-Ray & Radium:
Bro 30C, Sol 30C.
Management of Electric Burns
Burns that result from exposure to electricity should be treated
in the same manner as burns from exposure to fire.
Same as for First & Second Degree Burns.
Management of Sunburns
Sunburn, in most cases, is a first-degree burn. Extremely deep
sunburn may cause second-degree burns, with blistering. Do not open
any blisters. Apply cool compresses to relieve pain. Consult a
physician in cases of severe sunburn.
Belladonna 30C, Pulsatilla 30C, Urtica Uren Q, 6C, 30C; Calendula
30C, Nat. Carb 30C, Ant Crud. 30C,1M, & Sol 30C.
Updated on: 01 Feb 2010