Emergency Action: Burns

Do you know what the best action to take is if someone has a burn injury? Chiltern Business Connection’s member Faisal Mahmood of FM First Aid Training shared his expert advice during the group’s regular education slot this month.

Undoubtedly, at some point or other, whether at home, work or play, we are going to either get burnt or see someone who needs help with a burn. The old wives tale of ‘putting butter’ on a burn is not a good idea, we’re not sure where the myth came from but it’s certainly not recommended for the 2020s; nor in the case of a wet burn is it a good idea to remove a person’s clothing – the skin can come with it so it is best to leave that decision to the medical professionals.

However, there are some simple things you can do to help minimise the damage from a burn, and to prevent infection.

Burns fall into 3 main categories:

Dry Burns, which includes things like touching hot devices such as an iron, hair straighteners or an oven shelf.

Wet Burns, which covers things like spillage of hot drinks and steam, and

Chemical burns from caustic or acidic liquids or powders.

For both dry and wet burns the best course of immediate action is to run the affected area under cold water for a minimum of 10 minutes. For chemical burns, run the affected area under cold water for a minimum of 20 minutes – and in this case, take particular care to ensure you are not injured by any runoff water which could then cause you to become a secondary patient.

Once the burned area has cooled down, the next important step is to make sure it is kept clean and the ideal dressing for this is cling film. As Faisal explained, cling film doesn’t stick to the skin, keeps the area clean to reduce the risk of infection whilst at the same time allowing a clear view of the injury.

Tip – Keep a roll of cling film near your First Aid station.

Faisal offers bespoke First Aid Training sessions in the High Wycombe and surrounding areas to businesses, schools and nurseries. If you’d like to book in for a session get in touch via email: