Brian Davis (brian@SETON.COR.NET)
Thu, 15 Jun 1995 08:35:35 +0100
I guess I'll add my two cents on the issue of burns.
Current Red Cross standards dictate that the treatment for full
thickness (third degree) and partial thickness (second degree burns is
essentially the same - Cool the area as quickly as possible to stop the
burning process. Copious amounts of cool water do the best job at this.
Then, lightly cover the burned area with a sterile dressing, and treat
any ancillary symptoms (shock, etc.). DO NOT apply any topical ointments,
remedies, shaving cream, or anything else. Anything applied with a
grease base (like anti-biotic creams, mustard, etc.) has to be scrubbed
off once the victim gets to the hospital - Try to imagine how it would
feel to have a brush taken to an extremely painful burn. I've seen this
- it's a hideous spectacle. Shaving cream is not sterile, and contains a
lot more stuff than just soap - it has to be scrubbed off too.
Superficial burns (1st degree) or burns which cause only light to
moderate reddening of the skin, should be cooled with water, and can then
be treated with any of the many over the counter remedies available at
the local Eckerds. Aloe seems to be the most popular these days.
Burns encountered far from help (i.e 12 hours or so) may require
different approaches. Unfortunately, without effective medication,
available only through a trained physicians guidance or application, you
aren't going to accomplish much for the victim. Change the dressing
regularly, provide basic life support, and do the best you can to get the
victim to help. Your best treatment here is adequate communications
facilities - like cellular phones and radios. Every group should carry a
listing of local air ambulances, rescue units, etc. ( Texas scouters -
browse the Troop 117 web pages at
http://circle10.cor.net/scouts/t117.html for the services in Texas).
I strongly recommend that all scouters taking kids into the field get
traing in First Aid. The Red Cross offers several courses here in the
states, that provide a pretty good overall approach to most problems. In
particular the "Emergency response" and the lessor "Responding to
emergencies" would be a good start. Most of these courses are taught
concurrently with CPR as well. I am told that the Red cross is testing
some wilderness oriented modules in some parts of the states. Hope they
make it to Texas soon.
I have seen the remarks about the "Wilderness First Responder", and
"Wilderness EMT" training. Unfortunately, these are not widely
available, and may require you to work in a professional capacity before
enrollment. I do not know what the qualifications of the oversight
groups sponsoring these courses are.
Yes, I am a Red Cross instructor.
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