Special Precautions for Very Serious Burns

Any person who has been badly burned can easily go into shock (see p. 77) because of combined pain, fear, and the loss of body fluids from the oozing burn.

Comfort and reassure the burned person. Give him aspirin for the pain and codeine if you can get it. Bathing open wounds in slightly salty water also helps calm pain. Put 1 teaspoon of salt for each liter of cool, boiled water.

Give the burned person plenty of liquid. If the burned area is large (more than twice the size of his hand), make up the following drink:

To a liter of water add:

half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

half a teaspoon of salt and half a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

Also put in 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey and some orange or lemon juice if possible.

The burned person should drink this as often as possible, especially until he urinates frequently. He should try to drink 4 liters a day for a large burn, and 12 liters a day for a very large burn.

It is important for persons who are badly burned to eat foods rich in protein (see p. 110). No type of food needs to be avoided.

Burns around the Joints

When someone is badly burned between the fingers, in the armpit, or at other joints, gauze pads with Vaseline on them should be put between the burned surfaces to prevent them from growing together as they heal. Also, fingers, arms, and legs should be straightened completely several times a day while healing. This is painful but helps prevent stiff scars that limit movement. While the burned hand is healing, the fingers should be kept in a slightly bent position.

sterile gauze pads with

Vaseline sterile gauze pads with


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