St. Joseph Regional Burn Center shares news you can use during Burn Awareness Week

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (February 5, 2018) – Most of us think we're safe from burn injuries. But the truth is, burns can happen to anyone at any time. Because of this, the St. Joseph Regional Burn Center is using Burn Awareness Week to share information that’s important to know year-round. 

Scalding hot liquids, grease fires, car accidents, chemical explosions, house fires, frayed electrical cords, severe sunburns and even frostbite can cause serious scarring, permanent debilitations and even life-threatening infections. That’s why St. Joe burn team members are working around-the-clock to keep the community safe.

Here are some additional facts about burns that might surprise you:

• More than 40 percent of all burn injuries occur at home.
• About 500,000 people receive treatment for burn injuries each year.
• There are 4,000 deaths each year from fire and burn injuries.
• About 40,000 people are hospitalized each year for burn injuries.
• Burns from ordinary tap water can occur at a temperature of only 111°. Water heated to 130° can cause severe burns in seconds.

When a burn occurs, it is human instinct to attempt to treat the victim immediately. However,
some first aid decisions can actually harm the victim and complicate the burn injury.

• Do not apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, fluffy cotton, adhesive bandages, cream or oil spray because these interfere with the healing process.
• Do not allow the burn to become contaminated; avoid coughing or breathing on the burn.
• Do not bother blistered and dead skin.
• Do not give the victim anything to eat if he/she has a severe burn.
• Do not immerse a severe burn in cold water or apply cold compresses; this can cause shock.
• Do not place a pillow under a victim's head if he/she has an airway burn because the airway could close.

Call 9-1-1 for emergency assistance immediately if:
• the victim has a severe or extensive burn
• the victim has a chemical or electrical burn
• the victim shows signs of shock
• the victim has an airway burn

To avoid the risk of infection and scarring, and to assist with healing, wounds need to be cleaned as quickly as possible after an injury occurs.

To treat a minor wound:
• Wash your hands with soap and water.
• Wear medical gloves, if they are available.
• Rinse the wound thoroughly with lukewarm running tap water to help remove dirt, debris and bacteria. Kitchen sprayers are also good for this.
• Gently wash the wound with mild soap and a washcloth.
• Repeat the washing until the wound is clean.
• Bandage the wound, lightly applying an antibiotic ointment first to keep the bandage from sticking to the wound.
• Watch the skin around the wound for sensitivity to the bandage.
• Apply a clean bandage if the current bandage becomes soiled or wet.
• Change the bandage at least twice a day.
• Remember, wounds that are deep, large, painful, bleed excessively and/or have large fragments of debris in them should be cleaned and treated by a healthcare professional.

For all other burn related questions, call the St. Joseph Regional Burn Center at (260) 425-3567.


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