Weekly First-aid Topic: Five principles for first-aid of burns
From:Beijing Municipal Commission of Health and Family Planning


There are five principles of “flushing, removing, soaking, covering and delivering” to treat burns.

Flushing refers to lightly rinsing or soaking the burned area with running tap water for 10 minutes to 30 minutes. Cold water can quickly cool the wound down and reduce the damage to the deep tissues of the skin. If the pain persists severe, you can extend the time of soaking and flushing. Normal tap water has very little bacteria, so do not worry about infection.

Removing refers to carefully removing clothing in cold water after adequate rinsing and soaking. You can use scissors to cut your clothes, but do not peel off it with force, so as not to break the blisters. Because the blister epidermis protects the wound in the early stages of burns, it can relieve pain and reduce exudation.

Soaking refers to relieving severe pain by continuously soaking the burn in cold water. However, patients with large-area burn, children, and the elderly should pay attention to the time and temperature of soaking so as to avoid excessive temperature loss.

Covering refers to using clean or sterile gauze or cotton cloth to cover the wound and fixing the cloth. This will reduce external pollution and irritation and help keep the wound clean and reduce pain.

Delivering refers to promptly transfer the patient to the hospital for regular treatment.