Friday, July 10, 2009

First-Aid Mythbusting

Urban legends are generally harmless, if annoying. But there are some bits of "common wisdom" that can be extremely dangerous. Take all of the anecdotal "cures" that you see on television? It is important to know the facts so that a minor injury doesn't become something worse.

A child pulls a pot of boiling water off the stove or sticks their hand on a hot burner

Do you put butter or mayonnaise on the burn? Hurriedly remove the child’s clothing because it is stuck to the burn? Get out the ice?

Those are the common reactions in the case of a burn, but all of them are myths.

Butter, mayo or other types of grease may cause even more damage to tender skin and pulling clothing or other materials stuck to the burn could damage the tissue or pull the skin off completely.

The correct action is to rinse gently with cool water and coat the burn with antibiotic ointment.
I know we have nurses, mothers, and outdoorsmen who read this blog. What other tips do you have for the RIGHT ways to treat injuries that are counter-cultural?

1 comment:

BH said...

the main thing is to stop the burning. Even after you have broken contact with the hot object or medium, your skin will still be "burning". The faster you can cool the area back down with COOL water the better. (not ice because that will contract the skin too quickly and hurt more than it is helpful) Like Nomad said, once you know that the area is fully cooled down (one to two minutes under cool water) than you keep it clean to prevent infection, evaluate the severity of the burn, and if it is 2nd degree or less, us the antibiotic ointment and cover to protect.