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Scissors, gauze, and bandages for treating burns

Treating Burns

For burns, the immediate goals are to relieve pain, prevent infection, and treat for shock.

  • First- and second-degree burns with closed blisters are best treated with cold water.
    • Immerse the burned area, or cover it with cloths that have been soaked in cold water—don’t use ice water.
    • Avoid using butter or any type of greasy ointment because they can interfere with healing and cause an allergic reaction.
  • Second- and third-degree burns with open blisters should be wrapped with a loose, dry dressing.

Treating Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Improperly working camp stoves and lanterns, as well as wood and charcoal fires, can produce lethal carbon monoxide.

  • Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, and difficulty in breathing. The victim’s skin can turn red, and he or she can lose consciousness.
  • Get victims into fresh air immediately, and keep them lying quietly. Prompt medical care is essential.

Treating a Chest Wound

A bullet striking the chest can cause a sucking chest wound—a deep, open wound of the chest wall that allows air into the chest cavity.

  • All chest injuries are very serious and need immediate medical attention.
  • To respond immediately to a chest wound:
    • Use the palm of your hand to cover the wound until a bandage is located.
    • Cover the wound with sterile gauze, a clean cloth, plastic, or foil.
    • Make sure the wound cover forms an airtight seal.
    • Hold the gauze in place with a bandage or tape.
    • If the victim has trouble breathing, remove the bandage, and replace it quickly.
    • Transport the victim to the hospital with the injured side down.
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