Third degree burns are the most severe. These burns involve all the skin’s layers and cause permanent damage to the tissues. Sometimes fat, muscle and even bone can be involved. If the burn is bad enough it could appear black and charred or look dry and white. There can be other toxic effects if smoke inhalation accompanied the burn and the patient might have trouble inhaling or exhaling.
Third degree burns are serious emergencies and require expert emergency care from emergency room doctors such as Josyann Abisaab. Call 911 as soon as possible, and while waiting for the ambulance be sure to:
1. Not remove clothing, but make sure there is nothing smoldering or still burning touching the victim.
2. Not immerse large and severe burns in cold water. Immersion in cool water could cause the body temperature to drop, causing hypothermia, lowering of blood pressure, and poor circulation (shock).
3. Check for breathing and other signs of life such as coughing and movement. Start CPR if circulation seems to be curtailed.
4. Try and keep the burned parts of the body elevated to a level above the heart, if possible.
5. Cover the area where the burn is with a cool, moist and sterile bandage, cloth or towel.