Recently in First Degree Burns Category

May 1, 2012

Basement Fire in House Due to Flammable Materials Causes Smoke Inhalation and Carbon Monoxide Poisoning


In Arlington Heights, IL last week, a man was burned in his own home and a firefighter was injured when he responded to the fire--a fire that started from careless use of flammable materials inside the home.

The man was able to escape his smoke-filled basement after chemical fumes exploded in his face. Moments later, firefighters pulled out of the building just before the first floor collapsed. "We got out just in time," said the Arlington Heights fire chief.

The homeowner was attempting to plug a hole in his basement with a flammable patching material when the nearby water heater turned on. The spark from the water heater ignited fumes created from the patching material. The man suffered first- and second-degree burns to his face from the ignited fumes but was able to escape along with his wife before firefighters showed up to the home.

The homeowner was treated at Northwest Community Hospital for his severe burns and for smoke inhalation. He was expected to spend the night at the hospital. The victim was lucky in that the home is located just two blocks from the hospital.

When firefighters entered the house, a firefighter going down the stairwell to the basement was thrown back by the force of an explosion from inside the basement, where the flammable materials ignited other items. Only seconds after the firefighters retreated from the home, the first floor collapsed into the basement. The firefighters would have been trapped and possibly killed had they still been in the house when the floor collapsed.

The firefighter who was injured during the explosion was taken to Northwest Community Hospital for a back injury, smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning. Fire officials said that a stairwell is a vulnerable spot for the firefighter to be, but it was the only way to reach the basement. "When there's a fire in the basement, the stairwell acts like a chimney, which is very dangerous," the fire chief said.

Firefighters battled the flames, which had reached the first and second floors through the walls, for about two hours until it was under control. The home sustained major damage; officials estimated the damage to the structure at more than $200,000.

The lesson from this story is that flammable materials and liquids should not be used or stored in a home. Also, it does not even require a fire to kill a person from cyanide poisoning--many chemicals give off this gas and can overwhelm a person, making them unconscious and unable to escape.

If you or someone you know suffers an injury such as third degree burns or smoke inhalation, you should call Kramer & Pollack LLP in Mineola, New York so that the personal injury attorneys in that firm can determine whether another party has legal liability for injuries suffered, and if the injured party has a strong legal case.

February 16, 2010

First Degree Burns (Part II)

Prevention:
Burns of all degrees including first degree can be avoided or decreased by following simple measures, burns caused by scalding with hot water can be prevented by careful handling of hot liquids, turning pot handles on the stove out of the reach of children, check the temperature of the bath water before putting the child in the tub, setting the water heater thermostat no higher than 120°F (49°C), install radiator covers, insulate exposed stem pipes, properly placed and working smoke detectors, children must be taught never to play with matches, lighters, gasoline, never allow children to handle fireworks without adult supervision.

Sunburns may be prevented by the liberal use of a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 and above, use protective coverings like hats, loose clothing, and umbrellas, avoid spending time in the sun between 10 am and 3 pm when the most damaging ultraviolet rays are present.

According to the consumer product safety commission, in most adults 5 minutes of exposure to 120 degree hot water causes a third degree burn, 30 seconds of exposure to 130 degree hot water causes a third degree burn, 6 seconds of exposure to 140 degree hot water causes a third degree burn and 2 seconds of exposure to 150 degree hot water causes a third degree burn.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

February 15, 2010

First Degree Burns (Part I)

A first degree burn is caused due to injury to the epidermis which is the outer first layer of the skin; it involves minimal tissue damage and is the least serious type of burn.
Causes:


  1. Spending too much time in the sun (sun burn part I, II).

  2. A brief contact with a dry, moist heat or chemicals.

  3. Friction like rubbing the skin (against a rug).


Hot water, hot beverages and cigarettes are the most common sources of heat that cause first degree burns; it is called a scald when it is caused by hot water of hot steam.

Symptoms:


  1. Redness.

  2. Swelling.

  3. Pain and sensitivity to touch, pain usually lasts 48 - 72 hours and then subsides.

  4. Peeling of the skin

  5. They don't usually blister or leave scar.

  6. You must watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing. If infection develops, seek medical help.


Treatment:

First degree burns are minor burns and can be treated at home, the treatment is as follows:


  1. Remove any clothing or jewelry from the burned region.

  2. Hold the burned skin under cool running water for 5 - 10 minutes. Cold compresses can also be used.

  3. You can soothe the area with aloe-vera cream or burn ointment

  4. Place clean and dry sterile gauze around the burned area; wrap the gauze loosely to avoid putting pressure on burned skin.

  5. Use Tylenol, ibuprofen or aspirin to relieve pain.

  6. Call your doctor.


Things not to do: don't use ice to cool the burn as it can cause further damage the burned skin, don't use bandages that are adhesive as it might adhere to the burned skin, don't apply oils or butter to the burned area as it interferes with healing and can make the burn worse, never give aspirin to children under the age of 18 because of the risk of Reye's syndrome which is a serious illness affecting mostly the liver and the brain. Ask your doctor about children's pain relievers.
Minor burns usually heal on their own within a week. They may heal with pigment changes.
For treatment of chemical burns, see chemical burns part I, II.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.