First Aid: Burns, CO Poisoning, and Shock
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.
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.