Burns are very common. In addition to minor effects, they can also cause devastating, life-altering injuries. According to EmergencyPhysicians.org, burn injuries cause the death of approximately 4,000 people every year in the U.S.
When determining severity, the type of injury can play a role. Here are a few common types of burns and their effects, so you can remain well-informed should you or someone you love require medical attention.
Minor burns do not usually cause lasting injuries, but they are uncomfortable. The first step is to remove the source of the burn and assess the area. Soothe the burn with cool running water or a cold compress made from a clean cloth. Next, apply antibiotic ointment and cover the area with a sterile bandage.
Contact emergency services for burns involving the hands, mouth, and eyes, or burns covering a large portion of the body. Certain symptoms also require emergency assistance, including excessive swelling and redness, fever, and extensive blistering. You should also seek out timely medical assistance if a burn has not healed within two weeks.
All chemical burns require immediate medical attention. While waiting for help, do the best you can to remove any lingering chemicals from the victim’s skin. You can do so by placing the person in a shower or rinsing the affected area with cool running water.
Like chemical burns, electrical burns require immediate help from emergency medical personnel. For instance, the person might require a tetanus shot to limit the risk of infection. The medical staff can also check for internal damage, which is not always completely evident at first. Additionally, never approach a victim of an electrical burn until you are sure the source of electricity is no longer a threat.
If you cannot gauge the seriousness of a burn injury, contact emergency services for assistance immediately. It is better to play it safe than to take a risk and face even worse health effects.