We are covering another serious topic today from the Fire Dog files. According to the American Burn Association, more than 450,000 burn incidents require medical treatment every year, with 10% of those requiring hospitalization.
As with any other injury, if you or someone you know is burnt, err on the side of caution. When in doubt, take burn victims to the emergency room. Or call an ambulance. Isn’t that why humans pay for insurance…to get medical care when it’s needed? Any blistering, sloughing or charring of the skin means the victim needs immediate help. If not treated properly, serious burns can become infected and cause severe scarring.
Burns are classified from 1st to 4th-degree, which each rising level indicating an increase in the severity of the burns and the risks of potential complications.
Basic treatment for first degree and less severe second-degree burns:
- Run cool (not cold) water on unbroken skin, but not on severe burns
- Pooches can be sunburned! And it’s pretty serious in some cases. Pay special attention to white-haired and short-haired breeds.
- Avoid applying topical ointments onto serious burns. First degree burns will benefit from ointments after the initial assessment. My nose loves that pleasing aloe scent!
- Provide over-the-counter pain medication to help reduce pain and swelling.
Skin grafts have long been the go-to method for treating severe burns in cases where amputation is not necessary:
- A section of healthy skin is removed from an unaffected part of the victim’s body, or in some cases, skin is extracted from an animal. Yikes!
- Numerous risks and complications can result from skin grafts including infections, excessive bleeding, nerve damage, and loss of the grafted skin.
- Patients are required to avoid bending over or stretching the area for 3-4 weeks, which can be very restrictive…particularly if the wounds are on the face, hands or paws. No playing fetch—you need to rest!
But good news is at hand. An innovative treatment that could revolutionize the way burn centers treat patients is gaining popularity. Patients who succumb to burns too often die because of the infections that occur while the patient waits for his or her skin grafts to heal. And this process can take weeks or months. A new procedure known as the “skin gun” takes a different approach:
- The revolutionary procedure uses the patient’s own stem cells to promote healing.
- A patient’s healthy skin cells are isolated and placed into a water-based solution.
- This solution is loaded into a spray gun similar in design to those used to spray fine paints. Seriously? This is going to work?
- The doctor or technician sprays the stem cell solution directly onto the patient’s affected areas.
- Healing begins immediately and early results from the procedure show dramatic improvements within hours or days.
- It’s fun to make fun of the silly things you humans sometimes do. But I have to admit that, sometimes, you are insanely smart. This is Star Trek stuff! A skin healing spray gun!? I suggest you take the people who thought of this and put them on solutions to global warming STAT.
Of course, preventing fires in the first place is the best course of action to eliminate the complications and consequences of serious burns. There are many front-end precautions that can be taken to ensure against the start of fires. And in the unfortunate event that fires break out despite careful planning, there are many ways that fire events can be quickly contained if personnel receive the right training for skills such as extinguisher usage and proper evacuation procedures.
At RJWestmore, Inc., it is our pleasure to provide complimentary information about fire-life safety, disaster preparedness, public health and emergency management as a way to further our corporate mission to “Save Lives through Training.” We recently developed a new Property Messaging Tip Sheet as a courtesy to our clients because we sincerely desire that everyone who reads our blogs, posts and press releases as well as those who join our training program will BE SAFE. And for my part, I hope you are educated entertained by my own firedog blog and tweets.
When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives. For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact RJ Westmore, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit RJWestmore.com for more information.