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First Aid: A Helpful Reference for Anyone


These pages hold instructions on how to do some common first aid procedures as well as others that may include long-term care.

NOTE - This page is meant to be a reference during role-play. It is not meant to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any real medical condition. Any risk or liability is your own.

Bandages and Dressings | Burns and Scalds | Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation | Controlling Bleeding | Delivering a Baby | Miscellaneous Procedures | Shock | Sprains, Strains, and Fractures | Treating Wounds

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Burns and Scalds

Classification of Burns | First Aid for Burns

Classification of Burns

Burns may be classified according to extent and depth of damage as follows: Burns may also be classified according to cause. The three major types of burns by cause are as follows: The seriousness of a burn or scald is influenced by the extent of the body surface involved, as well as by the depth to which the tissue has been penetrated. It is generally assumed that where more than 30% of the surface of the body is injured by a second degree burn or scald, death will usually follow, but a much smaller area (more than 10% of the body surface) injured by a third degree burn can also cause death.
Burns can do more damage than injure the skin. Burns can damage muscles, bones, nerves, and blood vessels. The eyes can be burned beyond repair. The respiratory system structures can be damaged, with possible airway obstruction, respiratory failure, and respiratory arrest. In addition to the physical damage caused by burns, victims also may suffer emotional and psychological problems that could last a lifetime.
Shock is very severe when burns are extensive and may cause death in a few hours.

First Aid for Burns

Minor Thermal Burns | Moderate or Critical Thermal Burns | Chemical Burns of the Eyes | Chemical Burns | Electrical Burns

The first aid given to a burn victim largely depends on the cause of the burn and the degree of severity. Emergency first aid for burns or scalds should primarily be:
  1. Remove all clothing from the injured area, but cut around any clothing that adheres to the skin and leave it in place. Keep the patient covered, except the injured part, since there is a tendency to chill.
  2. First aid dressings for burns and scalds should be free of grease or oil. The use of greases or oils in the treatment of burns makes it necessary to cleanse the burned or scalded area with a solvent before medical treatment can begin. This delays the medical treatment and is very painful.
  3. Be careful when dressing burns and scalds. Burned and scalded surfaces are subject to infection the same as open wounds and require the same care to prevent infection. Do not break blisters intentionally.
  4. Never permit burned surfaces to be in contact with each other, such as areas between the fingers or toes, the ears and the side of the head, the undersurface of the arm and the chest wall, the folds of the groin, and similar places.
  5. Cover bandages should be loose enough to prevent pressure on burned surfaces. Swelling often takes place after burn dressings have been applied, so check them frequently to see that they are not too tight. Watch for evidence of shock and treat if it is present.
  6. In cases of severe burns, remove the victim to an infirmary as quickly as possible. The victim will probably require an anesthetic so that ordinarily nothing should be given by mouth.
In addition to the general principles listed, certain other principles must be followe when giving first aid for specific types of burns.

Minor Thermal Burns
General first aid for minor thermal burns is as follows: If the victim has thermal burns on the eyelids, apply moist, sterile gauze pads to both eyes and secure in place.

Moderate or Critical Thermal Burns
General first aid for more serious thermal burns is as follows:
Chemical Burns of the Eyes
Frequently chemical substances, especially lime, caustic soda, or acids or alkalis get into the eyes. The treatment is to wash the eyes freely with clean water. To do this, have the victim lie down, hold the eyelids open with the fingers and pour the water into the inner corner of the eyes from a pitcher or other container. Use plenty of water and wash the eyes thoroughly, being sure the water actually flows across the eyes. Do not put any neutralizing solution in the eyes. Cover both eyes with moistened sterile gauze pads and secure in place. Chemical burns of the eyes should recieve the attention of an eye specialist as soon as possible.

Chemical Burns
General first aid for chemical burns is as follows: First aid for dry chemical (alkali) burns is an exception to the general first aid for chemical burns because mixing water with dry alkali creates a corrosive substance. The dry alkali should be brushed from the skin and water should then be used in very large amounts.

Electrical Burns
General first aid for electrical burns is as follows: Respiratory failure and cardiac arrest are the major problems caused by electrical shock and not the burn. Monitor pulse and breathing while preparing the victim for transport.

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For more detail relating to the healing of humans, here is a neat site that might help you. The golden fire lizard will show you the way!



Sources for these pages were:

Radcliffe, J. The New International Webster's Pocket Medical & First Aid Dictionary of the English Language. USA: Trident Press International, 1997.

Yahoo! Yahoo! Health Encyclopedia. June 2004.

All references to worlds and characters based on Anne McCaffrey's fiction are copyright
Anne McCaffrey 1967, 2001, all rights reserved, and used by permission of the author.

Special thanks to Nerissa and Avonelle, who helped in the compilation of this resource.