The first step to administering first aid for a burn injury is to evaluate the extent of the harm. Burns are divided into first, second, and third degrees depending on their severity. Each degree needs to be handled in a certain way. When in doubt about the degree of a burn, err on the side of caution.
The degrees of burn and the first aid they require are listed below:
- First degree: The burn is less than three inches in diameter and only affects the outermost layer of skin. The affected area will become red and may feel very painful. Clean the burn with cold water, apply a bandage, and treat the pain with an over-the-counter painkiller.
- Second degree: The first two layers of skin are affected. The skin will appear blotchy and there may be blisters or swelling. Second-degree burns can be treated in the same way as first degree burns as long as they do not affect a sensitive area like joints, the face, or the genitals.
- Third degree: A third-degree burn damages all three layers of skin and possibly the layers of muscle, fat, and bone beneath. There is usually no pain due to nerve damage. The skin may appear white or charred. In addition, any first or second degree burn that is larger than three inches or on a sensitive area should be treated as a third-degree burn.
- To treat a third-degree burn, call 911 immediately. Keep the burned area elevated if possible, and wrap it in cool, moist cloths. If the victim experiences heart or respiratory problems, administer CPR.
After any kind of burn has been treated and the victim is stable, the injured area should be monitored for signs of infection until it heals.
Contact a Des Moines Burn Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered from severe burns caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be eligible for compensation. To learn more, contact the Des Moines personal injury lawyers of LaMarca Law Group, P.C. at (515) 705-0233.