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Treating a bad burn, the right way

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JR8
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Treating a bad burn, the right way

Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 8:23 pm

I'm posting this in case it might help others in future.

On Christmas day I was preparing lunch for us and our guests and I inadvertantly by reflex went to pick up a frying pan in the sink to wash it, with a solid aluminium handle, that had just come out of the 170c oven (entirely my own fault). Ow!

I got a burn between on my palm about the size of a match-box, and also all four fingers. It really was seriously ******* agony! :cry:

I immediately ran it under cold water, and then taped a bag of cold water plus ice cubes onto my hand. That itself was extremely painful.

To cut a long story short, I kept my hand in a pan of cold water all that day (changing it every 10 minutes). I then ended up clutching cold cans of beer (again changing every 10 mins), or freezer ice-packs wrapped in a tea towel.

That was fine while it lasted, but when ever I took my hand away the pain was excruciating. I really wondered if I would sleep, and how long it would last. That night I took a couple of mega-panadol and what with the festive drinks it knocked me out.

Remarkably the next day my burns were a little uncomfortable but not painful. Now three days later I have the scars still, the main blister on my palm popped yesterday, but there really isn't even discomfort, apart from hot water in the shower. I have been rubbing in lots of aloe vera too.

Speaking with my sister (career staff-nurse/matron) she said I did exactly the right thing. Immediate and continuous coldness. She treated her own daughter (my niece) by making her clutch a bag of frozen peas for 4 hours. She added that if I had not have done what I did, it is quite possible I might have needed skin grafts.

So, take note if this happens to you, or if you are parents. No rubbing on butter, or Colgate (the SGn cure), get it immediately as cold as possible and keep it that was for many hours (in my case about 10), the recuperation from the excruciating pain has been nothing short of miraculous.

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ttujess
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Postby ttujess » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 8:52 pm

They put Colgate on a burn, OUCH!
Thanks for the tips - will keep this in mind next time the hubby is grilling
:P

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EADG
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Postby EADG » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 8:54 pm

Plus those beers probably didn't hurt either....
Ape Shall Not Kill Ape

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 9:06 pm

EADG wrote:Plus those beers probably didn't hurt either....



Hehehe :) Unfortunately I had to rotate the limited supply of full cans with the fridge to keep a cold supply.

I expect the vat of home-made gluhwein did no harm though to my prospects of sleeping 8-)

p.s. I only recount this tale, as alongside root-canal work, and telling my American ex-wife I was divorcing her cheating sorry arse, it was one of the most painful experiences of my life.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 9:09 pm

JR8,

Sorry to hear about your misfortune. You might say I've been there & done that. Once in 1978 (30% of my body burned in an offshore oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico - subsequently spent 30 days in the Baton Rouge burn clinic) and again in 1988 (same right side but only around 15-20% of my body) when the fuel tank on an old lawn mower decided to become incendiary in a dead calm afternoon. The second time I already knew what to do, but still went to a local clinic to get the supplies, etc. The doc wanted me to go but when I told her what she was going to do to me...... she said "you've been through this before!" Yep! So she gave me all the supplies and told me to come back in a week to examine how I was faring.

For a 2nd degree burn like you experienced it sounded like perfect advice. The problem I had was they were trying to keep me warm and laying in a pile of ice cubes all over my right side at the same time while waiting for a chopper to fly 150 miles out into the Gulf to retrieve me. (I never went into shock although the docs could not understand why as normally more than 15% burns will put you there)

If you have massive 2nd degree burns (non-charring of the flesh) you will have what appears to be folds of wax coming off of your body - not pretty. All of that has to be removed and subsequently scrubbed (OUCH) and then shaved with a straight razor if in a hairy part of the body like the arms or chest or worse in order to remove the stubble which will cause infection if not done. Once the debriding (removal of hair stubble and loose skin) is done the area is scrubbed with Betadine, then Silver Sulfadiazine cream is put on it and loosely wrapped with gauze. Now, if you are not hurting too much from the debriding, you will be okay. For large areas like I had (entire right upper torso from Sternum to backbone and ~75% of right arm) there is so much pain you don't know where to hurt first so it become all encompassing and the mind can easier deal with it - having a high pain tolerance also helps! ;-)

Then, you start the whole process again the next day. And the day after that, and so on, and so on. Eventually, if grafts aren't needed (I was supposed to have some grafts on my right elbow but I started healing too fast so the doc said no) it will start healing from the bottom up and while it may leave slight scarring, you won't have disfigured scarring like would be had if left to scab over.

Sorry about the graphic descriptions! :oops:

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 9:25 pm

Pass the Jack, I feel like I need a double shot after that! :shock:

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Postby carteki » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 10:03 pm

I have some wonderful stuff called Burnshield - was amazing when I caught my finger in a flying spinnaker sheet (rope for non sailors out there). Kept it on my finger until the blister went down (about a week) and no scaring to speak of!

But glad to hear that you're okay.

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Postby ksl » Tue, 28 Dec 2010 11:22 pm

I then ended up clutching cold cans of beer (again changing every 10 mins),
I would have drunk them, every ten minutes :) I just hate those bloody pans, and have thrown them all out! I sympathise with your agony and well done that you did the right thing in double quick time, it could have been worse!

Night time is worse, so a few shots will make you sleep better! :wink:

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Postby Plavt » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 2:51 am

Sorry to hear that JR8, hope everything's healing up ok.

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 3:45 am

Thanks all, and yes it is healing up nicely. It ain't pretty but it does not hurt. That's really why I posted... that's how amazing the turn-around has been...

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Re: Treating a bad burn, the right way

Postby Muslima70 » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 10:31 am

So, take note if this happens to you, or if you are parents. No rubbing on butter, or Colgate (the SGn cure), get it immediately as cold as possible and keep it that was for many hours (in my case about 10), the recuperation from the excruciating pain has been nothing short of miraculous.


Hi JR8, I am sorry to hear about your burn and I hope that you are healing well now...

Just wanted to share that using Colgate/toothpaste/or whatever is not the necessarily the typical cure used by all SG families..I think it depends on which family you speak with...Maybe your friends or neighbours who are SG told you this so you assumed that most SG families did this?

As for me, my family are true blue SG, & my dad taught me to use ice cubes and ice water, or anything very cold/frozen and continous application of the cold, just as you did.
My other local friends/colleagues also do this...

so saying to Colgate=SGn cure ..is not quite accurate...Not every SG person will use Colgate..Anyway why Colgate? I also confused....Why don't those other SGn choose say Aloe vera gel or something else? :?

Anyways no wonder some expats think SGn are weird. You guys have some strange(and occassionally incorrect) ideas about us :wink:
Salam(peace be with you)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 11:13 am

Muslima70,

We get these strange ideas when we assimilate with the local population. Old wives tales here will have you believing in all kinds of silly rot. Another good one is not bathing after giving birth. :???: Same thing with heaty & cooling foods. It's been proven that there is no correlation other than systemic brain washing over the generations that now if you eat more than 6 pieces of Jackfruit you will start feeling bad. Ain't gonna happen unless your mind has been pre-convinced by your parents from a very early age. Kinda like the aunties who still pat the seats before sitting down. When dogs do similar things (by walking around in a circle before laying down), it was because before they were domesticated, they always walked around in a circle to ensure that they didn't lay down on something that would hurt them (snake, scorpion, etc). While not all Asians believe in some of this garbage we pick up, enough of them still do to make it part and parcel to Asia. Kinda like the kitchen god. Lots of Chinese christian converts still keep a kitchen god. :? Why? Pragmatic? If one god good, two gods better? Or, maybe keep both in case they are wrong on one?

My in-laws would have recommended rubbing aloe vera on it. Different strokes for different folks. (my in-laws are Singaporeans)

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Re: Treating a bad burn, the right way

Postby x9200 » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 12:05 pm

JR8 wrote:Speaking with my sister (career staff-nurse/matron) she said I did exactly the right thing. Immediate and continuous coldness. She treated her own daughter (my niece) by making her clutch a bag of frozen peas for 4 hours. She added that if I had not have done what I did, it is quite possible I might have needed skin grafts.

At first you need to cool it down as quickly as possible to stop the heat damage progressing. Later you want generally two things - to have oxygen access (so no butter, no heavy fatty ointments etc.) and to prevent infection. Low temperature gives you some comfort and inhibits the growth of bacteria and there is plenty of Oxygen in fresh water so probably the right combination :) Alternatively you may also use some hydrogel dressing that do similar thing (plus they contain antiseptics and minimize potential scars) except of the cooling part. Get well JR8.

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Postby Wind In My Hair » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 3:36 pm

Does this mean JR8 used to be HOT? :wink:

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JR8
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Postby JR8 » Wed, 29 Dec 2010 4:38 pm

Wind In My Hair wrote:Does this mean JR8 used to be HOT? :wink:


Smoking :wink:


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