Types & Causes of Burns
Did you know there are 6 different types of burn injury that a person can suffer from? Burns injuries can be very severe as they mean the skin can no longer effectively function as a barrier against infections. Furthermore blistering can occur as the small blood vessels in the skin leak tissue fluid and collect underneath the skin.
This blog will begin with the most obvious type of burn injury that springs to minds, guide you through the remaining 5 and will advise you of some key factors to consider when assessing and managing burns injuries.
Dry Burns – These can be caused by flames, meaning it’s likely the type of burn that most vividly springs to mind. They can also be caused by coming into contact with hot objects, the like of which are often found in kitchens. A burn caused by friction such as a rope burn is also categorised as a dry burn.
Scalds – Another type of burns injury likely to occur in day to day life. Just consider how many cups of tea and coffee you drink over a lifetime. Accidentally spilling any hot liquid on yourself or someone else would cause a scalding injury. Steam can also lead to this type of burn.
Cold Injury – Less likely as we begin to move into spring, but frostbite can cause a cold burn. Anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with a freezing metal or freezing vapours (liquid nitrogen for example) will also be at risk of a cold burn.
Radiation Burns – With summer approaching this is one we do all need to be aware of (British weather permitting of course) as sun burn is the most obvious type of radiation burn. Other causes of radiation burn are somewhat less likely in everyday life as they require exposure to a radioactive source.
Electrical Burns – Any malfunctioning household appliance could cause an electrical burn from a low voltage current. In more extreme cases high voltage currents from electricity overhead cables or a lightning strike will cause an electrical burn!
Chemical Burns – Any strong acid or alkali chemical can cause a chemical burn and there are plenty or these around the home. A chemical burn could potentially be caused by bleach, weed killer, oven cleaner, car battery acid and even some teeth whitening products!
The burn injury that a casualty has suffered from will be classified in one of three ways. The three categories relate specifically to the depth of skin damage.
No matter what type of burn has been suffered there are some important rules to follow
- Should the casualty be a child take them to hospital straight away. It doesn’t matter how small the burn is!
- Any serious burn to an adult will also require immediate medical attention. This includes any burns to the hands or face.
- Also seek medical attention for any burn that wraps all the way round an arm / leg, any partial thickness burn larger than the palm of the casualty’s hand, any superficial burn larger than 5% (five palms) and lastly a full thickness burn of any size.
If you believe there is a significant risk of minor burns injuries around your home or workplace First Aid 4 Less offer a range of burns dressings and kits suitable for the treatment of a burns injury.