First Aid: Burns, CO Poisoning, and Chest Wounds
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.