Immediate steps to be taken after a burn injury

Severely burnt person is usually seen with skin as well as airway burns due to inhalation of hot air and may be found choking due to inhalation of toxic fumes. Fluid loss occurs very rapidly in burn patients due to edema which may lead to death. A well planned and efficient first aid can help in saving a life. Following first aid can be given to a person who is severely burnt:


Protect the person by extinguishing the fire and take the person away from the heat source. Cover the person preferably with a clean, cotton cloth to avoid further friction and injury to burnt area. Do remove any tight jewelry or belt from the affected area. Call for an ambulance.

Check airway

Open the person’s mouth and check for airway. Also check if person’s breathing rate is fast and put patient in side lying position to help him breathe. Breathing can be compromised due inhalation of hot fumes that burn the airway tract and cause edema. If person is not breathing, check for pulse and perform CPR immediately if pulse is absent.

Don’t Remove Clothing

Don’t try to remove any clothing that is stuck with the skin. Wait for medical help to arrive. Removing any stuck clothing may cause further ripping of skin and lead to bleeding and fluid loss from the body. It may also increase the chances of infection.

Don’t use ice cold water

Burn may cause a great amount of fluid loss because of which body cannot maintain its normal body temperature. If ice cold water is poured on burnt area, it may become cold and bring down body temperature which may cause problem. So it is not recommended to pour ice cold water on severely burnt person.

First-aid can help save a life; therefore everyone should be aware of the basic things to do during an emergency. Once first aid is given, the patient should be taken immediately to the emergency room.

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