Tips for treating major burns

Severe burns require immediate medical attention, but while waiting for help someone may need to watch for signs of shock and treat the burned area.

Most Florida residents have had a burn at one point or another. Many people suffer from sunburns when they forget to apply the appropriate amount of sunblock. While minor injuries of this nature can be treated at home, more serious wounds caused by scalding, chemicals or flames may need specialized attention. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 3,800 yearly fatalities are related to injuries caused by burns. Knowing how to take care of a serious wound can help protect injured parties.

Call emergency services

Severe burns that penetrate every layer of skin require medical attention as quickly as possible. Emergency services should be notified if the burn covers the feet, hands, face or groin or if it meets certain criteria, such as the following:

· Patches of black, white or brown discolored skin

· Spots of dry, leathery skin

· Diameter of three or more inches

When a burn is deep, a person should not try to treat it solely by themselves. Burns can result in major scarring and nerve issues that can affect a person's day-to-day life for the foreseeable future. Because of the nature of this type of injury, the person may not be in major pain, but that does not reduce the seriousness of the wound.

Know signs of shock

Because of the physical toll a severe burn can create, an injured person may start to go into shock after this type of injury. Anyone trying to aid a burn victim should know the symptoms related to this acute medical condition. For example, shallow breathing accompanied by fainting and paler-than-normal complexion could be an indication of the serious condition.

Take care of the area

Burned skin can start to swell quickly after the injury takes place. One important step of treating a burn is making sure further harm does not happen. Removing restrictive items around the area of the burn can ensure parts of the body are not cut off from the blood supply. It may also be a good idea to elevate the wounded part of the body. If possible, raise the burned area above the heart.

A helper may want to give the burn victim some relief from pain, but severe burns should not be immersed in water as this can cause the injured person to lose essential body heat. Instead, it is beneficial to apply moist, cool bandages when possible.

People in Florida may become severely burned after a house fire, work accident or car crash. No matter what led to this type of injury, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.