We don’t think about it often, but it is in those moments when someone in your household sustains an injury or burns themselves that you wished you had some knowledge on first aid. Having a 2 year old and 2 months old at home means that I have to be constantly alert and ready to take on any minor accidents that happen at home. Because of this, I decided to meet with Dr Mohammed Ridzuan Abd Razak, Senior Resident Medical officer, Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur to further understand what we need to do if burns or bleeding occur at home.
As careful as we may be, accidents do happen when we least expect it, so it is best that we equip ourselves with some first aid knowledge. For this issue, we’re focusing on burns and bleeding. So here are some important information as well as some steps and tips on how to handle burns and bleeding at home.
How many types of burns are there and what are they?
Burns are generally divided into 3 types of burns as per below:
When is it safe to treat burns at home?
Usually superficial burns are safe to be treated at home by just applying a light moisturiser. Partial thickness, if it is just a small area is also safe to be treated at home.
When is it important to seek medical attention?
Doctors and emergency medical providers have a method called The Rule of Nines to easily calculate the treatment needs for a person who’s been burned. The Rule of Nines assigns a percentage to determine how much body surface area is damaged, and is different for an adult compared to a child.
An easier way to determine the percentage is by considering the size of your palm as 1% (for adults). So a severe case would be considered 10% and above, that’s when it is absolutely critical for you to visit the hospital immediately.
Besides this, other circumstances that are a must for you to go to the hospital includes:
- When the person is a child
- When the burned areas involve key areas of the body such as hands, feet, face, ears, genitals or major joints
- When it is caused by fire with thick smoke
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
Of course there are no hard rules on when you should and should not seek medical treatment, so always trust your gut and remember that it is better to be safe than sorry.
What are the steps to treat minor burns at home?
1. Immediately place the affected area under cold running water for 10-15 minutes to minimize the depth of the injury.
2.Clean the affected area and make sure there is no debris.
3.Dress the area with a clean cloth or cling wrap (if you’re planning to head to the hospital).
- Make sure the cloth that you use is one that will not stick to the skin.
- If blisters form on the affected area, do not pop. Popping the blister might introduce infection to the area.
- Do not apply toothpaste. Applying toothpaste may give you the cooling effect, but will be a problem to wash off later on.
What to do when severe bleeding occurs at home?
- Don’t panic!- All bleedings will stop eventually.
- Apply direct pressure on the cut or wound with a clean cloth, tissue, or piece of gauze until bleeding stops.
- Gently clean the cut or wound with water. Avoid scrubbing too hard.
- Protect the wound. You can apply antibiotic cream to reduce risk of infection and cover with a sterile bandage.
- If the wound is on the arm or leg, raise limb above the heart level, if possible, to help slow down bleeding.
When should I seek medical attention?
- Bleeding doesn’t seem to stop or is severe
- The wound is on the face or head
- The wound has dirt or debris that won’t come out
- The wound is deep and is gapping open
- The wound has redness, tenderness or a thick discharge, which is a sign of infection
- When bleeding is caused by an animal or human bite
What causes a nose bleed?
A nose bleed is usually caused by the tiny blood vessels inside the nostrils being ruptured. Common causes of nose bleeds include a blow to the nose, sneezing, picking or blowing the nose, and high blood pressure.
What to do if nose is bleeding?
- If someone’s nose is bleeding, your priority is to control the bleeding and keep their airway open.
- Get them to sit down and lean forward (not backwards as previously practiced), to make sure the blood drains out through their nose.
- Pinch the soft part of the nose, taking a brief pause every ten minutes, until the bleeding stops.
- At the same time, try putting some ice on the nose to contract the blood vessels.
- You should immediately go to a hospital if the bleeding is severe, or if it lasts more than 30 minutes.
Disclaimer: This article was produced by Lily Shah for Parenthood Magazine in collaboration with Pantai Hospital Kuala Lumpur. Information published in this article and website are for educational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. We do not give any warranty on accuracy, completeness, functionality, usefulness or other assurance to the content in this article. Thebuxombabe.com disclaims all responsibility for any losses, damage to property or personal injury suffered directly or indirectly from reliance on the information provided.