Third degree burns are one of the most severe forms of burns. They involve damage to all layers of the skin, and the underlying structures like bone, muscle, and tendons. Treating third degree burns in a hospital can be challenging, let alone managing them without a hospital nearby. However, in a survival situation, burns can happen and they can happen badly. It’s possible to manage third degree burns without a hospital, but it requires knowledge and preparation. In this post, we will cover some basic information and first aid techniques that may help you manage third degree burns when there is no hospital.
Assessing the Burn
Before starting any treatment for a third degree burn, it’s important to assess the extent of the burn. Third degree burns are characterized by charring, numbness, and tight, dry, and white or blackened skin. If the burn is smaller than the size of your palm, you can treat it at home. However, if the burn covers a large area of the body, it’s best to seek medical attention if possible. In some cases, it may be needed to evacuate to a nearby hospital.
First Aid for Third Degree Burns
First, make the victim comfortable, and if possible, move them away from the source of the burn. Remove any clothing or jewelry that may be tight, or stuck to the burn. Next, cover the affected area with a sterile gauze or bandage. If you don’t have a sterile gauze, use a clean or sterile cloth. Never use cotton balls or any fluffy material to cover the burn. These materials can easily stick to the wound and cause further damage and infection.
To minimize the pain and swelling, keep the affected area elevated higher than the heart if possible. Give the victim a mild painkiller like aspirin, or ibuprofen. It is also important to make sure that the victim stays hydrated. Burns can cause dehydration, so give them water or fluids as much as possible. In some cases, burns can cause swelling in the airways and make it difficult to breathe. If you notice any signs of difficulty with breathing, call for emergency help immediately.
Cleaning and Dressing the Burn
To prevent infection and other complications, it’s important to clean and dress the burn appropriately. Cleaning a third degree burn might be painful. Diligently clean the surrounding skin or wound with mild soap and water. Rinse the wound thoroughly with clean water and pat it dry with a clean, soft towel. Use a non-adhesive dressing to cover the wound. Do not use any topical applications like ointments or butter.
Prevention is always the best way to manage any burns. Therefore, it’s important to take some precautions:
– Store flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, and kerosene away from the reach of children
– Avoid wearing loose-fitting clothes while cooking over an open flame
– Keep cooking surfaces clean to avoid grease or oil build-up which can easily cause fire
– Protect your skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and gloves while working with hot or dangerous materials.
While third degree burns are among the most severe injuries one can sustain, they can be managed effectively without a hospital. However, successfully managing third degree burns depends on knowledge and preparation. If you plan to live off the grid, or in any location without easy access to medical facilities, it’s vital to learn first aid and other related techniques. Knowing these things can save your life or the life of someone else when emergency situations arise.