Bites & Burns
Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2011 13:00 Tuesday, 09 August 2011 16:16
Animal bites and scratches, even minor ones, can become infected and spread bacteria to other parts of the body. Whether the animal is a family pet or a creature from the "wild," scratches and bites can carry disease. For example, cat scratch disease, a bacterial infection, can be transmitted by a cat scratch (usually from a kitten) even if the site of the scratch doesn't look infected. In addition, certain animals can transmit rabies and tetanus. Human bites that break the skin are even more likely to become infected.
- If the bite or scratch wound is bleeding, apply pressure to the area with a clean bandage or towel until the bleeding stops. If available, use clean latex or rubber gloves to protect yourself from exposure to blood.
- Clean the wound with soap and water, and hold it under running water for at least 5 minutes. Do not apply an antiseptic or anything else to the wound.
- Dry the wound and cover it with sterile gauze or a clean cloth.
- Phone your child's doctor. Your child may need antibiotics, a tetanus booster, or a rabies vaccination. A bite or scratch on a child's hand or face is particularly prone to infection and should be evaluated by your doctor.
- If possible, locate the animal that inflicted the wound. Some animals may have to be captured, confined, and observed for rabies. Do not try to capture the animal yourself. Look in your phone book for the number of an animal control office or animal warden in your area.
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency department if:
- the wound won't stop bleeding after 10 minutes of direct pressure.
- the wound is more than 1/2 inch long or appears to be deep.
- the attacking animal was wild (not tame) or behaving strangely.
- a body part is severed. Wrap the severed part in sterile gauze or a clean cloth and take it with you to the emergency department.
Burns are injuries to body tissues caused by heat, chemicals or radiation. Scalds are caused by wet heat, such as steam or hot liquids. Burns are classified according to the area and depth of injury. Superficial burns involve only the outer layers of the skin, cause redness, swelling, tenderness and usually heal well. Intermediate burns form blisters, can become infected, and need medical aid. Deep burns involve all layers of the skin, which may be pale and charred, may be pain free if nerves are damaged, and will always require medical attention. To limit tissue damage, the burned area should be cooled down immediately by flooding the area with slow running water for at least 10 to 20 minutes. If no water is available, clothing should be remove immediately from the injured area, (only if it is not stuck to the skin) clothing soaked with hot liquids retains heat (avoid pulling clothing over the face).
Severe Burns and Scalds
- Cool the burn area with water for 10 to 20 minutes. Or use Burn Gel.
- Lay the casualty down and make him as comfortable as possible, protecting burn area from ground contact.
- Gently remove any rings, watches, belts or constricting clothing from the injured area before it begins to swell.
- Cover the injured area loosely with sterile unmediated dressing or similar non fluffy material and bandage.
- Don't remove anything that is sticking to the burn.
- Don't apply lotions, ointments, butter or fat to the injury.
- Don't break blisters or otherwise interfere with the injured area.
- Don't over-cool the patient and cause shivering.
- If breathing and heartbeat stop, begin resuscitation immediately,
- If casualty is unconscious but breathing normally, place in the recovery position.
- Treat for shock.
- Send for medical attention.
Minor Burns and Scalds
- Place the injured part under slowly running water, or soak in cold water for 10 minutes or as long as pain persists.
- Gently remove any rings, watches, belts, and shoes from the injured area before it starts to swell.
- Dress with clean, sterile, non fluffy material.
- Don't use adhesive dressings.
- Don't apply lotions, ointments or fat to burn/ scald.
- Don't break blisters or otherwise interfere.
- If in doubt, seek medical aid.
- Flood the area with slowly running water for at least ten minutes.
- Gently remove contaminated clothing while flooding injured area, taking care not to contaminate yourself.
- Continue treatment for SEVERE BURNS
- Remove to hospital.
- Remove the casualty to the shade and cool the skin by sponging gently with cold water.
- Give sips of cold water at frequent intervals.
- If the burns are mild, gently apply an after sun cream.
- For extensive blistering, seek medical help.