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4. First Aid Actions In Case of a Burn

a. Stop burning process to prevent further tissue destruction; remove from the source of injury.

b. When clothes catch fire, victim should fall to floor or ground and roll in carpet or blanket if available; Otherwise, stop, drop, roll, and beat out flames with anything available.

1) Running causes flames to spread.

2) Standing still would force victim to breathe flames and smoke and could cause hair to be ignited.

c. Remove clothing only if smoldering or hot or in the case of a scald burn (clothing holds heat).

d. Initiate immediate care of victim.

1) Small areas
(a) Immerse burned areas in cool water for 10 minutes or apply cool water compresses. This limits tissue destruction and helps prevent further complications.

(b) Do not apply any ointments to area.

2) Large, exposed areas
(a) Call out for family member and have someone contact police, fire, or emergency squad.
(b) Stop burning process, allow wound to cool.
3) Chemical burns
(a) Irrigate with large quantities of running water (except for burns caused by phosphorus, in which case instructions should be noted on package contents).
(b) Call police, fire, or emergency squad.
(c) Cover with loosely applied clean cloth.
4) Chemical burns of eye
(a) Call police, fire, or emergency squad.

(b) Remove contact lenses or have person remove them.

(c) Hold eye directly under running water with eyelids pulled back until emergency team arrives.

5) Electrical burns

If victim is in contact with live, indoor, low-voltage electricity:

(a) Shut off power if possible (pull plug, turn off switch).

(b) If shutting off power is not possible, free victim (use dry rope, stick, wooden plank, etc.). Be sure that your hands are dry and that you are on a dry surface.

(c) Contact the police, fire, or emergency squad.

(d) Establish an airway and, if indicated, initiate CPR—if you are certified.

(e) Keep victim warm and keep head lower than feet unless head injury is possibly involved.

(f) Give detailed report to medical transport team

If victim is in contact with live outdoor wire, the only safe procedure is to call the utility company and allow them to turn off the power!
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e. Never use water to extinguish an electrical fire!
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1) Water is an electrical conductor--you will be electrocuted!
2) Extinguish electrical fire with dry chemical extinguisher or dry chemical only.
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lsb 04/15/2002