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New Hope for Burn Victims

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011
Flames and black smoke

New treatments help burn victims.

According to the American Burn Association, more than 450,000 burn incidents require medical treatment every year, with 10% of those requiring hospitalization.

As with any other injury, always err on the side of caution. Don’t hesitate to bring a burn victim to the emergency room or call an ambulance. Any blistering, sloughing or charring of the skin means the victim needs immediate help. If not treated properly, serious burns are easily infected and can cause severe scarring.

Burns are classified from 1st to 4th-degree, which each rising level showing an increase in the severity of the burns and the risks of complications.

Basic treatment for first degree and less severe second-degree burns:

  • Run cool (not cold) water on unbroken skin, but not on severe burns
  • Avoid applying topical ointments onto serious burns. First degree burns will benefit from ointments after the initial assessment.
  • Provide over-the-counter pain medication to help with swelling and pain

Skin grafts are the current method for helping heal severe burns in cases where amputation is not necessary:

  • A section of healthy skin is removed from an unaffected part of the victim’s body, or in some cases, skin is extracted from an animal.
  • Numerous risks and complications can result from skin grafts including infections, excessive bleeding, nerve damage, and loss of the grafted skin.
  • Patients are required to avoid bending over or stretching the area for 3-4 weeks, which can be very restrictive…particularly if the wounds are on the face or hands.

But good news is at hand. An innovative treatment that could revolutionize the way burn centers treat patients is gaining popularity. Patients who succumb to burns too often die because of the infections that occur while the patient waits for his or her skin grafts to heal. And this process can take weeks or months. A new procedure known as the “skin gun” takes a different approach:

  • The revolutionary procedure uses the patient’s own stem cells to promote healing.
  • A patient’s healthy skin cells are isolated and placed into a water-based solution.
  • This solution is loaded into a spray gun similar in design to those used to spray fine paints.
  • The doctor or technician sprays the stem cell solution directly onto the patient’s affected areas.
  • Healing begins immediately and early results from the procedure show dramatic improvements within hours or days.

Of course, preventing fires in the first place is the best course of action to eliminate the complications and consequences of being burned. There are many front-end precautions that can be taken to ensure against the start of fires. And in the unfortunate event that fires break out despite careful planning, there are many ways that fire events can be quickly contained if personnel receive the right training for skills such as extinguisher usage and proper evacuation procedures.

At Allied Universal, Inc., it is our pleasure to provide complimentary information about fire-life safety, disaster preparedness, public health and emergency management as a way to further our corporate mission to “Save Lives through Training.” We recently developed a new Property Messaging Tip Sheet as a courtesy to our clients because we sincerely desire that everyone who reads our blogs, posts and press releases as well as those who join our training program will BE SAFE.

When a disaster strikes, prior planning and clear decisive action can help save lives.  For the latest emergency management training for facility/building managers, contact Allied Universal, Inc. Our new Version 2.0 e-based training system offers the best emergency training system with automated and integrated features. Visit for more information.