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First Aid
Alcohol Poisoning
Anaphylactic Shock
Back and Spinal Injury
Bleeding from the Head or Palm
Bleeding From Special Sites
Breathing Difficulties
Burns and Scalds
Chemical Burns and Eye Burns
Chest or Abdominal Wounds
Controlling Bleeding from the Mouth and Nose
Crush Injuries
Drug Poisoning
Emergency Childbirth
Extreme Cold
Extreme Heat
External Bleeding
Eye Wounds
Food Poisoning
Fractures of the Arm and Hand
Fractures, Dislocations and Soft Tissue Injuries
Fractures of the Ribcage
Fractures of the Skull Face and Jaw
Fractures of the Upper Body
Heart Problems
Injuries to the Lower Body
Injuries to the Lower Leg
Internal Bleeding
Poisoning from Household Chemicals
Poisoning from Industrial Chemicals
Sprains and Strains
Other Types of Burn
Unconscious Casualty
If You Have to Move the Casualty

Treating Other Types of Burn

The general principle of treating burns remains to cool and cover the affected area but some types of burn need extra consideration. With burns to the neck and mouth, beyond the risk of shock and infection, the greatest potential problem is the risk of airway obstruction due to swelling. The obvious additional danger with electrical burns is the combination of water as a treatment and electricity as the cause.

Treating burns to the neck and mouth - First Aid

  1. Check the casualty's airway and breathing and be prepared to resuscitate if necessary.
  2. Call an ambulance and reassure the casualty until help arrives.
  3. Get the casualty into a position where his breathing is comfortable (this will usually be sitting up).
  4. Loosen any constriction around the neck to ease breathing. Keep the airway clear.
  5. Cool any burns continuously - do not attempt to cover.
  6. Maintain a check on the casualty's airway and breathing.


Although rare, lightning strikes do happen and can kill. If caught outside in a thunderstorm, seek shelter in a car or building.

If there is no shelter, make yourself as low as possible, minimise your contact with the ground by crouching and avoid single trees, bodies of water and tall objects.

If a person has been struck by lightning, check their airway and breathing, be prepared to resuscitate, treat any burns and call for help.

Electrical burns

If a casualty has suffered from an electric shock, do not attempt to touch the person unless you are absolutely certain that he or she is no longer in contact with live equipment. If the person is still attached to an electrical current, your best option is to turn the electricity off at the mains point. If you cannot access the mains, you may be able to turn off electrical equipment at the wall socket but be particularly careful that you do not touch the casualty or any live equipment.

If there is no way to turn the electricity off, you can attempt to move the casualty away from the point of contact using a non­conducting material such as a broom handle and by insulating yourself as much as possible by wearing rubber gloves and shoes, and by standing on a telephone directory.

Electricity demands respect - if in doubt call in professional help. Do not put yourself in any danger.

Treating electrical burns - First Aid

A casualty suffering from an electrical burn may well have respiratory or circulatory difficulties. An electrical discharge across the heart can make the heart stop beating, so be prepared to resuscitate the casualty over and above the treatment of any burn that may be present.

  1. Make absolutely sure that there is no further risk from the electricity.
  2. Check to see whether the casualty is conscious. If unconscious, check airway and breathing and take action as appropriate.
  3. Treat any burns with cold water if safe to do.
  4. Cover burns as appropriate with sterile, fluffy dressings.
  5. Seek urgent medical attention. Stay with the casualty and reassure him until medical help arrives.

High-voltage electricity

High-voltage electricity (power lines, railway tracks, overhead power cables etc.) usually kills immediately, causing severe burns, heart problems and potentially even broken bones and internal injuries as the casualty is thrown by the shock.

If somebody has been hit, your first priority is to keep yourself and other bystanders safe. High-voltage currents can jump some distance so keep people back at least 20 metres (66 feet) and call for professional help via the emergency services.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.