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SECAmb supporting National Burns Awareness Day

14 October 2016

#BeBurnsAwareWith fireworks season fast approaching, South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SECAmb) is supporting National Burns Awareness Day on Wednesday 19 October by reminding people of the importance of administering the right first aid for burns and scalds.

While most burns are usually minor, giving the right first aid quickly following a burn or a scald can significantly improve a person’s recovery time and limit the severity of any scarring.

With a more serious burn, which may require treatment from ambulance crews and further specialist treatment at hospital, it’s especially vital that first aid treatment is provided and instruction over the phone from ambulance staff followed.

Burns of course happen all year round and across the South East, around 200 people are admitted to the region’s specialist burns unit at Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead each year. A further 1,000 patients are referred to the unit for specialist burns treatment each year. And across A&E departments in England and Wales it is estimated that some 300 people a day are seen with a burn.

It’s thought that more than half of all children and adults with a burn injury do not immediately receive appropriate first aid at the scene.

People can make a real difference to someone’s recovery from a burn by remembering to “Cool, Call and Cover”:

  • Cool the burn with running cold tap water for 20 minutes and remove all clothing and jewellery (unless it is melted or firmly struck to the wound)
  • Call for help – you can call the NHS 111 service for initial advice on treating burns or call your local GP. In an emergency, call 999.
  • Cover the burn with cling film or a sterile, non-fluffy dressing or cloth.  Make sure the patient is kept warm

SECAmb will also be helping raise awareness of burns via its Twitter account @SECAmbulance on 19 October.

Further information

Children and the elderly are especially vulnerable to burns and scalds. Around 42 per cent of those needing specialist burns care are children, with hot drinks the most common cause of scald injury in children, followed by contact with electric cookers, hair straighteners, irons and central heating radiators

The elderly are most often burnt by contact with central heating radiators or baths that are too hot.  Adults are also at risk of burns from hot fat, barbecues and bonfires – never try to speed up your barbecue with petrol or other flammable accelerants.

Kitchens are most common place for burns to happen

More information about treating burns and scalds is available on the NHS Choices website.

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