Anyone who’s ever been burned knows that it hurts. Burns come in all shapes and sizes, and the level of pain they cause can vary from a mild sting to unbearable agony. But what do you do when you or someone else is injured in a fire? Knowing how to properly classify and treat burns is crucial for preventing further injury and ensuring a quick recovery. So let’s take a closer look at the different types of burns, and learn how to best care for them.
When do you know if it’s a burn?
When the skin comes into contact with a heat source, a burn occurs. Burns can result from a variety of causes. Burns are typically caused by fire/flame, scalds, hot objects, and electrical and chemical agents. Burn-related injuries are extremely variable, as is their severity. With increasing burn surface area, morbidity and death tend to rise. It is crucial to appropriately identify a burn since it can help decide the outcome and guide initial treatment. The severity of a burn is influenced by the area of skin affected, the degree of warmth, and the time. The relationship between temperature and exposure time is synergistic. Ten seconds of exposure to 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit) can create a full-thickness burn.
CLASSIFICATION OF BURNS
Classification of burns is based on their depth. When determining the depth of a burn, four factors must be considered: appearance, blanching to pressure, pain, and sensation. Using these four elements, the depth of burns can be classified. Burn injuries are typically dynamic processes. When a burn occurs, it may be tough to classify it immediately. It can progress over time, so the entire extent may not be known for a day or two.
These burns impact only the outermost layer of skin. A mild sunburn is an illustration. Your skin may be red and uncomfortable, but no blisters will form. It is rare for an injury to have lasting effects.
If you have this sort of burn, both the epidermis and the dermis, the layer beneath, have been injured. Your skin will be red, puffy, and maybe shiny and wet. There will be blisters and the burn will be painful to the touch.
A superficial second-degree burn damages only a portion of the dermis. You may likely not experience scarring.
A burn with a deep partial thickness is more severe. It may leave a scar or alter the colour of your skin permanently.
This form of injury, often known as a “full thickness burn,” kills both layers of skin. It may appear black, brown, white, or yellow instead of red. Because this form of burn affects nerve endings, there will be no pain.
This is the most severe and extensive burn possible. They pose a possible hazard to human life. These burns destroy all of your skin’s layers, along with your bones, muscles, and tendons.
Occasionally, the severity of a burn might vary. This can occur if the injured skin continues to spread and the wound becomes deeper. Burns that damage 10 percent or more of a child’s body or 15 to 20 percent or more of an adult’s body are regarded as serious injuries and require hospitalisation as well as significant rehabilitation.
Burns can result in numerous complications, such as infection and bone and joint issues. It is therefore advisable to always follow up with your doctor.
What to do after suffering from a burn?
- Take the person away from harm and danger. Hold the wound for 20 minutes while cold water is running over it. If you have to, cover areas that haven’t been burned to keep the heat in.
- Only clothes that don’t stick to the burn should be taken off. Don’t pull off clothes that are stuck to the burn.
- Acids and alkalis must be washed off with running water for at least 20 minutes. Be careful not to splash the chemicals onto the skin that hasn’t been hurt or onto other people. A cool shower is ideal.
- Painkillers, dressings, and regular checks are needed for minor burns to make sure they haven’t become infected.
- Do not put anything else on burns of the second or third degree until they have cooled down and a doctor has looked at them.
- A major burn is any kind of burn that affects more than 20% of an adult’s body surface area and more than 10% of a child’s body surface area.
- Major burns are a medical emergency that needs to be treated as soon as possible. Apply cold water right away to all the wounds, and then call triple zero (000) to get an ambulance. It’s best to take a cool or warm shower.
When you are admitted to the emergency room of the hospital, one of the medical treatments you could receive is one that relieves your pain. It is possible that morphine, a chilly shower, intravenous fluids administered via a drip, and rigorous medical monitoring are all required.
Source: Better Health
You can classify a burn by its degree and there are four factors to look at: appearance, blanching to pressure, pain, and sensation. First-degree burn only impacts the outer layer of the skin and are quick to heal. A second-degree burn is red, swollen, and sometimes glossy and wet. There will be blisters that are painful. The third-degree burn makes you numb to pain and it appears dark, white or yellow. The fourth degree is the most severe type of burn and life-threatening because it destroys your skin’s layers, along with your bones, muscles and tendons.
Burns is a common injury that can occur both at home and in the workplace. Knowing how to classify burns, prevent them, and treat them is important for everyone. If you’re looking to learn more about first aid response for burns, CPR First Aid offers courses across Australia. We provide hands-on training from experienced professionals so that you can be confident in your ability to help someone who has suffered a burn injury. Book today at our newest venue in Liverpool and become equipped with the knowledge you need to save lives.