Emergency Cases

Adult - Burn

Burn depth is described as first, second, or third degree:

First-degree burns

  • Involve only the epidermis
  • Tissue blanches with pressure
  • Tissue is erythematous and often painful
  • Tissue damage is minimal

Second-degree burns

  • Also referred to partial-thickness burns
  • Epidermis and portions of the dermis are involved
  • The burned area characteristically has blisters and is very painful.

Third-degree burns

  • Also referred to full-thickness burns
  • Charring of skin or a translucent white color, with coagulated vessels visible below
  • The area is insensate, but the patient complains of pain, which is usually a result of surrounding second-degree burns
  • As all of the skin tissue and structures are destroyed, healing is very slow
  • Often associated with extensive scarring

First aid to patient:

  • Cool the burn. Hold the burned area under cold running water for at least ten minutes
  • Remove constricting clothing and jewelry to prevent these items from exerting a tourniquet-like effect following the development of burn edema.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile gauze bandage, in order to avoid wound infection
  • For major burn, seek medical advice as soon as possible