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First Aid for Third-Degree Burns

By HERWriter
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Burns related image Photo: Getty Images

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, between 30 to 40 percent of burn victims are children younger than the age of 15.

Third-degree is the most severe type of burn. A third-degree burn is when all the layers of the skin are burned. Third degree burns can be deadly if you are burned on the majority of your body. Third-degree burns may require skin grafting or plastic surgery. This is generally required because new skin will not grow in the third-degree burn area.

Seek medical attention immediately, if you or someone you love has a third-degree burn. The National Institutes of Health recommend calling 911 if you have the following burn issues:

• The burn is severe (third degree)
• The burn is extensive (the size of your palm or larger)
• The person shows signs of shock
• You aren't sure how serious it is
• The burn is caused by chemicals or electricity
• Physical abuse is the known or suspected cause of the burn
• The person inhaled smoke
• There are other symptoms associated with the burns

Symptoms of third-degree burns include:

• Lack of pain because nerve endings are completely burned
• Swelling
• Dry leathery skin
• Charred black skin
• Yellow, brown or white skin

The following first aid steps are recommended by the American Academy of Family Physicians and FamilyEducation.com for third-degree burns:

• Call 911 immediately
• Don't take off any clothing that is stuck to the burn
• Don't soak the burn in water or apply any ointment
• Treat for shock if necessary
• Call the local poison control center if you suspect a chemical burn
• Remove jewelry and tight clothing not on the burn area
• Cover the burn with a cool, wet sterile bandage or clean cloth until you receive medical assistance
• Elevate burned hands by keeping them higher than the heart
• Burned legs and feet should be elevated to keep blood flowing smoothly.
• Keep the injured person still
• If the face is burned, keep checking for breathing complications, administering mouth-to-mouth resuscitation if necessary

If you have a third-degree burn, you may experience complications like pneumonia or infection.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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