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The 911 on First Aid Situations 
 
by Jami Cameron July 20, 2005

Burns

In order to treat a burn, follow these steps:

  • Check, call, care - note - only call emergency personnel if the burn or burns appear major or life threatening or there are others who received burns - otherwise, treat and get the victim to a medical facility
  • Flush the burn with cool water
  • Cover the burn with sterile gauze or dressing in order to prevent infection
  • Call 911 if the burn is severe

When treating a burn, never:

  • Place ointment on a burn – it may seal in the heat and cause the person to continue to burn. Butter and household ointments should be avoided at all costs
  • Use ice or ice water on a burn unless it is very small (a burn on the tip of a finger). It can rob the body of heat (which can cause shock) or even make the burn worse
  • Remove clothing that may be sticking to a burn. This can cause even more damage to the burn area
  • Touch the burn - only sterile bandages or dressings should touch the burn in order to prevent infection

Shock

Shock can happen to anyone in an emergency situation, and can be life threatening. You can tell if someone is in shock if:

  • They are irritable, restless or their consciousness seems altered
  • They appear pale
  • Their skin is cool to the touch
  • Their pulse is racing
  • Their breathing is rapid
  • They are nauseous or vomiting
  • they have a blue hue at their fingers or lips

If you think someone is in shock, provide the following treatment:

  • Check, call, care
  • Monitor their breathing
  • Control bleeding, if any
  • Help the victim from becoming too chilled or overheated (blankets, air conditioning, etc.)
  • Do not give them food or drink
  • Keep them talking – this helps you evaluate their mental and physical state
  • Wait with them until help arrives

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