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Destruction of surfaces touched by a hot object or by flame is the obvious result of burns. But it is the way that heat penetrates the deeper tissues and remains there that is the main damaging factor. Immediately cooling of the burnt area takes first aid priorty over applying dressings.

First Aid to be taken

Step 1 : Clothes on fire Smother the flames immediately with the first thick, large cloth available (blanket, rug, towel). If it is wet, so much the better, but do not delay to moisten it. Press down to exclude air.
Step 2 : Cool the burn A small area like a finger tip can be held in cold water running from a tap. A part of the body which cannot be immersed should be covered with a thick cloth pad soaked in cold water.
Step 3 : Anticipate Swelling Burnt tissues swell. remove any possible constrictions like rings or bangles. Keeping a burnt limb elevated on cushions or bunched up blankets will help to minimise the swelling.
Step 4 : Dress the Burn Cover it with the widest clean cloth available and bandage lightly. On a burnt face apply a cloth in which you have cut holes for the eyes, nose and mouth.
Step 5 : Guard against Shock Take all necessary measures to minimise shock which can follow large burns. Let the patient have half a cupful of water, with a little sugar and a pinch of salt, sipped slowly every 10 or 15 minutes.
Step 6 : Get expert Help In the case of large burns call a doctor or send the patient immediately to hospital by ambulance.

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