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Accidents involving burns, CO poisoning, or shock can be treated as follows.


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.

CO 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.


Shock can result from any serious injury.

  • Symptoms include pale, cold, clammy skin; rapid pulse; shallow breathing; and fear in the victim.
  • To treat shock:
    • Keep the victim lying on his or her back. In some cases, shock victims improve by raising their feet 8-10 inches.
    • If the victim is having trouble breathing, raise the victim’s head and shoulders about 10 inches rather than raising the feet.
    • Maintain normal body temperature, and loosen any restrictive clothing.
    • Try to keep the victim calm and comfortable, and get medical help as quickly as possible.
Hunter treating a shock victim