First Aid: Burns

First aid for burns

Participants enrolled in almost any St Mark James first aid courses such as emergency and standard first aid and CPR will learn about recognizing and providing care and treatment for a varying degree of burns. Excessive heat can cause damage to the skin and the underlying structures of the skin. The heat can be a dry heat from fire, friction electricity or from hot liquids or vapors. The amount of damage and injury from the heat is related to the duration and the intensity of heat. Burns are classified into three different levels depending on the area affected and the depth of the tissue involved. The deeper the affected area, the greater the effect on the body as a whole and the higher the classification of burn.

1st Degree Burns

These burns are the lowest degree that only affect the out layer of the skin. This burn affects only the top layer of the skin, the epidermis. These burns are more superficial and usually result in the reddening of the skin and pain. These burns typically heal within a week with a possible peeling of the outer skin layer.

2nd Degree Burns

These burns affect not only the superficial epidermis but also the layer below known as the dermis layer of the skin. The damage to capillaries that carry blood causes fluid to build up to the top layer of skin which causes blisters. Blistering can be severely painful and may not appear for several hours. Blisters can appear red and discolored in patches. Excessive amount of fluid loss from blistering can cause shock (more than 10 percent).

3rd Degree Burns

These burns affect the superficial layer, the dermis and the underlying fatty tissue. The burn can go beyond those layers and include muscles, bone and other structures. Pain may not be prominent with these burns as the burn can damage the nerve endings. The burn may appear black and charred. These patients may have lost a considerable amount of fluid and will likely go into shock especially if the wound covers more than 10% of the body.

To learn more about burns and to learn to recognize, treat and provide care for patients with burns take a first aid course through a credible provider such as St Mark James.