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Burn gel

Discussion in 'Hygiene and First Aid / Medicinal' started by Rabbit leg, Oct 25, 2019.

  1. Rabbit leg

    Rabbit leg Tenderfoot

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    I have some burn gel that I only take on trips where I am not hiking or riding due to weight/size. Canoe and car only.

    I have never had to use it, so it is one of those items that I carry but have no idea if it is worth it.

    If I make a fire then I always have a bottle of water or access to a river.

    Has anyone used it?
    Is it just soothing relief or does it have a genuine medical use that water and bandage won't do?

    What I am asking is - (to keep weight/size down) is it worth carring or will water/sterile pad/pain pills do the same job?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    For all heat burns (not chemical burns) it is best to submerge the injury in cold sterile water for 20 minutes. Do not apply gels or medical creams to burn. Then dress the wound in a sterile dressing and seek medical help.

    This advice was given by a registered paramedic friend of mine. Hope this helps!

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
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  3. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    Went through this not so long ago with Julie after she dropped a microwaved coffee into her lap.

    Cold water -> Cover with Cling film aka Saran wrap or any clean plastic bag -> Hospital ASAP , is the official line.
    Oil based antiseptic creams soften the already weakened skin, don't wash off easily and retain heat so are generally frowned upon for emergency use.
    Water based 'burn' gels are simply to provide short term cooling during transit to hospital and prevent any improvised dressing from sticking.

    Now the fun part. Blisters may take eight to twelve hours to appear depending upon depth of tissue damage.
    IF/When blisters occur treatment involves removing all the damaged tissue then covering with a Low-adherent dressing and lots* of absorbent material held in place by compression sock/tape.
    Rinse & repeat every 24 hours till the exposed skin stops weeping. Yes it's as grisly and painful as it sounds.

    20190819_105451.jpg
    1st dressing change after debridement of blistered top layer

    *By lots of absorbent material were talking 6"x4" pads an inch thick completely soaked
     
  4. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

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    I carried the stuff around for years in my med-kit and never used it. Once noticed it was several years out of date they ended up in the bin never to be replaced. Yes I had the odd burn around the campfire, mostly picking up things i shouldnt have :) Always went with application of something cold and water.
     
  5. dwardo

    dwardo Maker

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    Crikey thats a baddun, hope the poor things ok.
     
  6. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    I use them.
    I use them for those really sore wee nippy burns....touched a hot pot, lifted a tray, caught the edge of a rack, a steam scald on the side of my hand that kind of thing. Especially ones on fingertips.

    Would I use them for anything else ?
    No.
    But for those really sore little burns that aren't going to ever need medical attention, they're a great kindness.
    They take away the pain, they ease the swelling, take away the heat.

    Worth carrying ? depends on whether you'd rather thole the pain or deal with it and get on with things.

    M
     
  7. Bishop

    Bishop Full Member

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    Thanks Dwardo, yes Julie is doing fine. Lots of massage and hospital issue moisturiser later the burns unit reckon scarring will be minimal.

    Like Toddy says Burn gel is probably worth having a sachet or three for the little accidents beyond that carrying enough to deal with serious burns and you're into next level expedition size medkits.
     
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  8. Dave Budd

    Dave Budd Gold Trader
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    just as others said, they aren't an alternative to lots and lots of cold water, but I do use burn gels quite a bit in the workshop. I use them in the same way as Toddy suggests: to relieve the discomfort of a non-serious burn. Mostly because they all have a local anaesthetic in them ;) I wouldn't bother having them in a first aid kit when out and about personally, but then I'm more likely to burn myself at work than I am when cooking or camping
     
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  9. Rabbit leg

    Rabbit leg Tenderfoot

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    Thanks for the replies. I'll just leave it in the car from now on.
    I thought there may have been some chemical that aided in evaporation - which would increase cooling.
     
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  10. Bootfox

    Bootfox Tenderfoot

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    Yea it’s worth carrying for smaller burns, but as discussed above, the best course of action for a burn firstly make sure the scene is safe for you to get involved, then Remove the source of burn(obviously) use room temperature or slightly cool (not always colder the better) running water for up to 20mins (this timing is constantly changing, varying from 10-20mins). If you are limited to the amount of water you have, use a helmet, or container underneath the burn to reuse the water (except with a chemical burn)

    Always try that for a course of action first (remove all jewellery and or clothing if you can, it might be worth leaving clothing on, situation dependant) then apply burn gel/cream and cover with a sterile dressing, clingfilm is usually the best (as it sticks to itself) loosely wrapped around the wound/limb. If a large wound, seek medical assistance and re-asses constantly.

    I’ve attached a link for more in-depth information about it. The severity of a burn is determined by the area, depth and other considerations like chemicals etc.

    Considerations for certain electrical burns will have an entry and an exit wound, and a risk of hypothermia (especially with kids) when dousing the wounds with water.

    https://www.who.int/surgery/publications/Burns_management.pdf

    You can get certain burn dressing ingrained with burn gels, allowing it to be draped over the wound.

    Always worth keeping a roll of clingfilm in your burns kit/trauma bag.
     
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  11. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    I think you guys are going a bit over the top?

    Keep clean, apply antiseptic cream or ointment, apply dressing/plaster.

    Prevent all damage ( burns, fractures, cuts and other) with education and using your brain.
     
  12. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Janne, you'll get shouted down over that. It's as though burns have become something that no one can deal with at all now. If it's over a 50p size the advice I was given on three different first aid courses was to get to A&E.
    Not like that in our youth, was it ?

    I scalded myself the same way as Julie did when I was a child. (I'm sorry Julie had to suffer that and I hope she healed very well. It's an incredibly painful burn and where it is makes every movement a misery for a bit.)
    I made a pot of tea, sat it down in the tiled hearth to mask (brew ?) and sat down on the hearth rug beside it. My brother said something and I turned to reply and knocked the roasting teapot over myself. I was seven....yes, seven year olds did make tea.
    Anyway, I watched my skin blow up in blisters in moments. It looked like huge versions of those potato puff things. My family jokingly called me, Little Miss, "I'll cry later", usually because I was easily distracted by something more interesting than crying....well I didn't that time, I cried right there and then, for hours.
    My Mum phoned the Doctor, and he said to wrap my legs in clean linen teatowels soaked in milk, and if the skin came off, just keep wrapping with more fresh milk, and then for a week those linen cloths were wrapped round my legs and tied on with ordinary white cotton bandages.
    No cold water soak, no hospital, no debridement, no special wound dressings, no infection, just really, really, really painful, and very messy as the skin came off.
    The skin doesn't look any different to the rest now. It really did slough off, and I couldn't walk properly for about three weeks. It doesn't tan though, it's snow white, and if I get really cold it doesn't go red like the rest of my skin....and I still am very wary about hot water.

    So, there you go, burn care, over fifty years ago. Apparently it was used during the war, and our old Doctor had been a Chindit officer. Wouldn't recommend it now though, would we ?

    We used to use a yellow cream called Acriflavine when I was a teenager. It was in every scout camp first aid kit. It too had been about since before the war. Again, I don't know if that would be advisible now or not. I doubt it, to be honest. It is supposed to be a really good anti infection medicine.

    We played with fire as kids, and apart from one playmate who kicked over a petrol can and set his leg alight (he was wearing nylon trousers and they melted onto his skin, to this day Joe's leg looks like someone stirred the skin with a stick :( I can still hear him screaming in occasional nightmares) none of us got infections in our burns or scalds, and none of us ever went to A & E to have them dealt with either.
    We'd have loved that Burngel stuff back then though, we really would.

    I don't think we were hardier, I think we lived in a less affluent, less mobile and more self sufficient world.

    I'm not decrying modern burn care, but there are times I agree with Janne.
     
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  13. Van-Wild

    Van-Wild Nomad

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    Toddy, Janne, you make a mistake in assuming the lay man already has this knowledge in how to deal with a burn.

    In my younger years I most certainly did not and it is only through asking medical professionals that I gained such knowledge, because I needed it as I ventured into the outdoors.

    Toddy, in your own example your parents first action was to seek the advice of a medical professional, where if they had been told to take you to hospital they would have. It just so happened that they appeared to speak to a medical professional with a unique skill set (chindits), who offered different advice.

    If my child was burned and I thought it was serious, despite my (limited) remote medical training I, like most others would first seek medical advice and follow that advice, what ever it may be.

    Sent from my SM-G903F using Tapatalk
     
    #13 Van-Wild, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  14. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Van-Wild....there was no way to easily get me to hospital. No one had a car, the nearest hospital was two bus journeys away and the bus stop was half a mile up the hill; the buses didn't run much after dinner time anyway.
    They would have had to get the Doctor to phone an ambulance....and that would have had to make the round trip from the city out.
    We were fortunate we had a phone....on a party line, if someone else had been using it then no-one else could get a call out anyway.

    Their first reaction was to get me out of the hot water.
    It was only when they saw the blisters that they phoned the Doctor. You can't do that now, the Doctor isn't on call anymore. They route you to NHS24 or suchlike.
    My Dad had already gone to get the milk and the linen teatowels before the Doctor echoed the advice. He said he'd visit in a day or so, and he did. He didn't lift off any of the loose skin, he just checked for infection. There wasn't any and I wasn't in as much pain as before, so it was just left to heal.

    I did an add up not so long ago, I reckon that in my lifetime I have completed 17 first aid courses.
    The advice is constantly changing. It's amazing that people survived in the past ! :rolleyes:
    I wasn't decrying modern medical treatment, simply agreeing with Janne that sometimes it feels like it's overused.
    Injuries are part of life, we heal, we don't need the drama too.

    I sometimes think that the book, "Where there is no Doctor", ought to be part of the school curriculum.

    M
     
  15. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    A layman will know the basics if he learns.
    Learning the basic skills in fire craft, knife craft and so on, is not only crucial for survival and not getting hurt, it is also an integral part of of the total ‘bushcrafting’ experience.
    In this context, we MUST learn how to behave around a fire, and all aspects around it.
    Self preservation.

    Just one example: you do not lean over a fire with a nicely oiled Barbour, and a free hanging woolen scarf.

    It is impossible to cover all possible medical emergencies.
    Learn how not to get them.

    You are of a much greater risk of getting a heart attack than a burn that needs dedicated dressings and stuff. Much, much greater. Do you carry an AED?
    Even bigger risk of a leg fracture, if you trek. You carry a leg splint?

    We all get mm large burns on our hands, firearms and possibly faces.
    Spitting fire ( wet wood or pine).
    No intervention needed. I just lick mine. Evaporating saliva cools.

    Thank you Toddy, I am not a Bad Boy at all times!

    That is the problem these days, people overthink and overdo so much.
    You guys and girls know what we did back in the 70’s for four and burn blisters?

    We inserted a needle ( sterilized over a match) into the blister, squeezed out the liquid, then put a plaster on. Nobody died.


    Edit:
    Of course, please do bring all the medical stuff you feel you need to feel safe.
     
    #15 Janne, Oct 26, 2019
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
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  16. Bootfox

    Bootfox Tenderfoot

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    It totally depends on the context.

    Small burns and personal use, yes burn gel is ideal.

    But again severity of a burn isn’t just about depth, it’s about area too. Professional Medical Aid must be sought if the burn is partial or full thickness. And depending on the area of a superficial burn.

    Depending on your activities, experience and training will dictate on the response given.

    I’d rather train for the worst but hope for the best.
     
  17. Bootfox

    Bootfox Tenderfoot

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    Again, it’s all dictated by your training, experience and competency.

    I completely disagree with you saying you can’t prepare for everything but learn how not to get them. Sometimes things happen. You are better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.
    If yo are going to head into the trees, then you best take some precautions. Take a trauma bandage with your Axe, etc.

    Personal use? Doesn’t matter, do what you like. But if you are running an organised event, then your risk assessments should dictate you should have appropriate medical procedures and equipment, including AEDs and predetermined access and egress routes and navigational aids etc.

    I would carry an AED in my car if I could. Many public places have them and some rural places/visitor centres have them. These are simple to use but I would encourage everyone to try and attend some kind of AED course. The statistics on survival speak volumes for AED.

    You can carry SAM splints or improvise them. Some first aid can be as much about improvisation and knowledge rather than equipment.

    I carry always small first aid kit, and a slightly bigger trauma bag in my car, or take it with me depending.

    They also thought a lot of mental stuff was good/healthy in the 1970s. They thought smoking was good for you, alcohol didn’t affect a foetus and even further back they thought elilepsy was being possessed and the Sun required human sacrifice.

    There’s no excuse in this day and age to not have some sort of training. And this “back in my day” or “we have always done it this way” attitude doesn’t wash in any situation let alone first aid especially when you are dealing with other people.


    Don’t ever burst any Burns blister. Do that to a large enough burn and it will have severe consequences. The only time it’s acceptable would be a blister on your foot, small friction blisters from walking. And even then you are opening up a route of infection to the body.
    Clean
    Lance (if painful)
    Iodine (antiseptic)
    Duoderm (or barrier/compeed)
    Tape (Never tape directly onto a blister)


    While we are at it Don’t ever rub lotions, fats, milks or anything else into a burn. I don’t give 2 hoots what we used to do. I care about medical care based on evidence, statistics and experience.
     
  18. Bootfox

    Bootfox Tenderfoot

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    Youth first aid, mainly heartstart is about improvisation, grab a tea towel to stop the bleed etc.

    It changes constantly because the medical fields are constantly updating and looking at incidents and situations and coming up with new evidence. Before it’s debated in various councils and committees before being pushed down.

    Frustrating, yes. But it’s just the way it goes. Otherwise we would still be rubbing milk in burns.

    Yep injuries are part of life. But your reaction to the situation could mean a various of different outcomes for yourself or someone.

    We certainly don’t need the drama. But to mitigate that drama, we use training, experience and competency.
     
  19. Janne

    Janne M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    Boot fox, you are fully correct, but I see this thread/ issue from the point of view where you carry everything. No car.
    So, carrying a roll of cling film is out.
    Of course accidents happen. I myself had a serious one, one that ended my mil career. Was lucky, could think straight, act correctly. So I am not ‘missing, presumably dead’.

    Close to 100 % of accidents are because of bad training and carelessness. Fully preventable.

    Not enough is taught about safe, correct ways.
    1:st Aid training is a must. But, in addition to the ‘standard’, the instructor should be told that the pupils want to learn and practice doing stuff in themselves.

    Splint your own leg. Clean, bandage your own wound.
    On every extremity, including your strong arm.

    My own med kit is fairly extensive.Plasters. Sutures ( silk). Roll of adhesive fabric tape ( Leukoplast), sterile cotton, roll of flexible bandage, one pack ( out of date by decades) of my issued 1:st aid, a pack of powerful painkillers. A couple of ampules of Xylocaine.
    One autoinjektor of Adrenaline ( I am allergic to bee venom).

    Milk is still useful. If you knock out a tooth, and are within 30-40 minutes from a dentist. Saline solution IS better, but who has that around?

    Own urine is a good wound cleaner.
     
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  20. Toddy

    Toddy Mod
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    Y'know ? it's becoming so that no one does anything because they think it needs an expurt, who knows every detail of the 'latest' best practice...which is duly overturned and often retreated from, and funnily enough if you're around long enough, it comes back around to the same way we did things twenty/thirty years ago.

    Seriously, sometimes folks need to think before they just swallow the latest changes. It's become change for change's sake at times. Has to be updated ? why ? the human body hasn't been updated. Our knowledge may have been updated, our latest bigpharma drug regimes and consumables may be updated, but to be honest the end results are pretty much the same.
    Healthy healing is the goal....well it should be, not how much profit can we make from all the throw aways; sorry, necessary medical consumables.

    Julie was badly scalded, and has had how much medical care ? I was badly scalded and my Mum just got the milk man to leave an extra two pints a day for a week.
    I drank one of them.
    Would I recommend the linen bandages and milk now ? No, but it did work successfully....and that is experience talking.
    I am very glad that good medical care was available for Julie, and I hope she heals very well indeed. I'm not getting at her over my posts, it's just an unfortunate conjunction of experiences.

    I think we've really rather taken this thread O.T.

    Burngel. Good or Bad.
    It works, again, experience talking, for small nippy burns, especially on sensitive fingertips. Is it worth carrying ? In my camping FAK and in the drawer beside the cooker, yes, it is.
    It comes in wee bottles too, much handier for the kitchen. Under a fiver for the bottle.

    M
     

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