What to do for Serious Burns

If you or a loved one has a dangerous burn, call 911 immediately for emergency help.

The symptoms of a serious burn include blisters, pain, peeling skin, shock, and swelling. However, some burns can be painless, so watch for signs of shock, such as pale and clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and fingernails, and a decrease in alertness.

If you are waiting for help to arrive, “stop, drop, and roll” can be an effective technique if clothes are on fire. If the victim is breathing, cover the burn area with a moist, cool, sterile bandage or clean cloth. Do not apply ointments and be careful not to break burn blisters. To prevent shock, lay the victim flat, elevate the feet and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. Monitor the victim’s pulse, respiratory rate, and blood pressure, if possible.

Understanding what to do in the event of a severe burn is important because these injuries are a leading cause of accidental death. Each year, more than one million people in the U.S. suffer a burn, which is an injury to skin and underlying tissues caused by heat, electricity, chemicals or radiation.

Remember: It is important to treat serious burns immediately in order to minimize the skin damage and start the healing process as soon as possible. Our experienced burn care team is dedicated to achieving the best possible outcomes for our patients.

Been burned? If you’re not calling 911, call 305-585-2876 – our 24-hour hotline to a burn specialist.