Burn Injuries

The NHS advises that every year about 13000 people are admitted to hospital for treatment for burns and scalds, and in addition many 1000s more attend hospital A&E Departments for treatment for burns and scalds.

A burn is caused by dry heat, such as hot metal or fire, and a scald is caused by a hot liquid or steam.A�The medical treatment for burns and scalds is the same.A�Burns are described by the depth of injury to the skin and the general classification is 1st A�degree, 2ndA�degree, 3rd degree and 4th degree with 4th being the most severe burn injury.A�Usually, scalds are 1st or 2nd degree burns. Identifying the true severity of the burninjury is important for the treatment of the injury because without appropriate treatment a burn injury may deteriorate and become worse.

The first aid treatment for burns and scalds is to cool the injury for 10 to 30 minutes using cool or lukewarm water (do not use ice or iced water), and to remove any clothing that may stick to the wound. Then, if possible, cover the burn by placing a layer of cling film over it, but do not tightly wrap the cling film.A�Partial thickness burns may develop blisters and no attempt should be made to burst any blisters. The aim is to keep the burn clean to avoid the risk of infection. Significant burn injuries should be treated by a medical practitioner. Young children and people aged over 60 have more vulnerable skin and should seek medical treatment from a hospital or medical centre.