#73 Thermal Burns

Referencing to the American Red Cross the first steps in caring for any burn is to stop the burning. How you will do this depends on the source of the burn.

  • To stop the burning from a thermal burn, remove the source of the heat.
  • To stop the burning for a chemical burn:

Remove clothing contaminated by the chemical, if possible.

If the chemical is a liquid, flush the area with cool running water for 20 minutes or until EMS personnel take over.

If the chemical is a dry powder, put on gloves and brush the chemical off the skin. Then flush the area with cool running water for 15 minutes or until EMS personnel take over.

 

  • To stop the burning for an electrical burn, turn off the power at its source.
    • Do not touch the person until you are sure the power has been turned off at its source.

Next, cool the burn using cool or cold potable water (water that is suitable for drinking).

  • Cool the burn as soon as possible and for at least 10 minutes.
  • If cool or cold potable water is not available for cooling the burn, a cool or cold (but not freezing) compress can be applied instead.

Finally, cover the burn loosely with a sterile dressing.

  • If a sterile dressing is not available, a clean dressing or plastic wrap may be used to cover the burn.