Treatment for Burns & Scalds

  • → Cool the burn under cool running water for a minimum of 10 minutes
  • → Remove jewellery that may retain heat around the burn, this should to be done before swelling occurs, the casualty should do this for themselves if possible, if it is too painful, leave items in place but continue to cool the area.
  • → If your first aid kit contains burn gel follow the instructions to use if appropriate but you should cool with water first.
  • → Dress the area lightly with a sterile dressing
  • → For chemical burns, follow the instructions on the product that has caused the burn.


Do Not

  • → Pop blisters
  • → Remove items of clothing that are stuck to the skin
  • → Do not touch the burnt area



When to go to hospital

Go to a Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department or call 999 for:

  • → large or deep burns – any burn bigger than the affected person’s hand
  • → full thickness burns of all sizes – these burns cause white or charred skin
  • → partial thickness burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals – these are burns that cause blisters
  • → all chemical and electrical burns


Also get medical help straight away if the person with the burn:

  • → has other injuries that need treating
  • → is going into shock – signs include cold clammy skin, sweating, rapid shallow breathing and weakness or dizziness
  • → is pregnant
  • → is over 60 years of age
  • → is under 5 years of age
  • → has a medical condition such as heart, lung or liver disease, or diabetes
  • → has a weakened immune system (the body’s defence system), for example because of HIV or AIDS, or because they’re having chemotherapy for cancer
  • → If someone has breathed in smoke or fumes, they should also seek medical attention. Some symptoms may be delayed and can include coughing, a sore throat, difficulty breathing, singed nasal hair or facial burns.



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A bit more about Anaphylaxis

What is allergy?

An allergic reaction occurs when the body mistakenly treats something that is harmless (for most people) as if it were dangerous. When the body comes into contact with this ‘harmless’ substance, such as a particular food, it overreacts causing inflammation, swelling and, in severe cases, anaphylaxis.


epi pen


What are the recognition features of anaphylaxis?

Any of the symptoms below may occur:

Airway: swelling, hoarseness, stridor (a high pitched wheezing sound)

Breathing: rapid breathing, wheeze, fatigue, confusion

Circulation: pale, clammy, faintness, drowsiness

Flushing of the skin and the development of hives or urticarial, this can cover the body quickly. On its own this can occur in a mild reaction.

There may also be a dramatic fall in blood pressure (anaphylactic shock). The person may become dizzy, weak and disorientated leading to collapse and unconsciousness and rare occasion death


What is the treatment for a severe reaction? 

Call 999 immediately, the emergency service operator must be told the person is suffering from anaphylaxis (pronounced ana-fill-axis).

If they have difficulty with breathing  but no signs of shock sit them up in a comfortable position to aid breathing

If they begin to show signs of shock lay the down and raise their legs

If the casualty has an auto injector pen assist them to use it. Pre-loaded adrenaline injection devices – Emerade®, EpiPen® or Jext® – are available on prescription for those thought to be at risk of a severe reaction. This can be repeated every 5 minutes if needed.

If the casualty becomes unconscious check Airway and breathing and resuscitate if necessary


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