Burn injuries are one of the most painful injuries anyone could experience. Of course, it depends on the severity of the burn; however, sometimes first-degree burns can be painful, especially if it’s affecting a large area.
We’re all prone to burn injuries as they are caused by fires, flames, hot liquids and objects, some chemicals, and electricity.
No matter how careful you are, there’s always a chance that you might accidentally get burned. The first few actions after getting burned, are the most vital steps that can determine how this injury is going to be treated and whether it will leave a scar or not.
That’s why it’s important to know what should be done if you, or anyone you know, got burned. Here are 6 essential steps that should be taken after suffering from a burn injury.
1. Stop the Burn
If you got burned, the first thing you’d need to do is to stop the source that’s causing the burn. If you burn your hands by holding a hot object or spilled hot liquid, remove your hands immediately and put them under cool running water, or place some ice over it for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cover the burned wound with a piece of clean cloth to avoid infections. You can also apply antibiotic ointments 3 to 4 times a day to prevent redness and swelling. Avoid using oils, creams, or lotions that contain fragrance as it may cause inflammation.
In case your clothes catch fire, drop and roll on the floor to stop the fire from reaching your skin. Remove any clothes that can catch flames easily even if it’s not on fire.
If you’re unable to remove the clothes because your skin is burned and the clothes got stuck to it, cut around the injury and remove the rest of the clothes. Cover the injury with a clean cloth until you seek medical attention.
2. Contact Your Lawyer
If your burns were caused by someone else, then you should consider taking legal action. If you recently bought a malfunctioning appliance that exploded when you connected it to electricity and it burned your skin, then you must contact your lawyer right away.
Injury lawyers at Davis, Saperstein & Salomon law firm claim that when you get burn injuries and you’re not the one at fault, you’re eligible for compensation.
This compensation should cover your medical bills and any additional expenses that were caused due to the accident.
For example, if your burns were severe and you had to take unpaid leave from your work, the other party should cover all of your expenses until you get back to work.
3. Know the Severity of the Burn
To be able to deal with any burn injury, you have to understand that there are three levels of burn injuries i.e., first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns.
A first-degree burn, also known as superficial wounds, affects only the first layer of skin. They are usually caused by the sun, hot liquids, or hot steam and electricity.
They can cause redness, swelling, and pain. The pain is usually mild and takes several days to heal. However, if it’s affecting a large area, it can be very painful and will take longer to heal.
Second-degree burns affect the second layer of skin, and they can be more painful than first-degree and can take up to 4 weeks to heal. In some cases, second-degree burns may require surgeries.
Third-degree burns are the most severe burns as they affect and damage all layers of the skin and sometimes they can reach the bones.
At this point, the skin won’t be able to heal itself, and it will need surgery that requires removing the damaged skin and replacing it with healthy skin from an unburned area.
4. Report the Accident
Even if you contacted your lawyer, you must report the accident. When you get burned, you have to contact the police to send officers to investigate the situation.
This will help your claim and ensure that you’re not the one at fault. Try to leave everything as it is until the officers arrive. However, if the source of fire is still connected to electricity, remove it or shut down your house electricity completely to avoid any electrical problems.
Don’t move anything from its place so that the officers can collect evidence to know what happened. After that, you should ask the officers to provide you with a copy of the report as it will help your case when you’ll file an insurance claim against the person or company that caused your burn injuries.
5. Seek Medical Help
Going to the hospital as soon as you get burned is the most essential step that should be done. Even if you believe that you have minor first-degree burns, you should still get it thoroughly checked.
It’s vital to let a professional check your burns to ensure that it’s not severe and not infected.
If you’re suffering from second-degree or third-degree burns, don’t wait a day or two until you visit a doctor. Waiting for a few days can delay the healing process, and it may leave a scar.
6. Follow Treatment
No matter what burn degree you have, you must follow the aftercare. You should apply antibiotic ointments or creams 3 to 4 times a day until the burns are healed and cover them with a bandage.
You will need to change the bandage daily in order to avoid infections. The process of removing the bandage and applying another one can be painful, but it’s essential for the healing process.
After the wounds close, you should start moisturizing them. Apply moisturizer or lotions gently, using light pressure, and massage the burned area. This will help your skin from drying out and will reduce itching.
Suffering from burn injuries is a painful experience and aftercare can be painful as well. It’s essential to take all the necessary precautions to avoid any complications, such as infections, swelling, redness, and severe pain.
Don’t underestimate the severity of your burns, even if it doesn’t hurt, you should still seek medical attention as soon as possible