Call for cau­tion with fire

Central Leader - - NEWS -

An alarming trend of us­ing ac­cel­er­ants to light fires has sparked calls for peo­ple to be cau­tious this sum­mer.

The Na­tional Burn Cen­tre at Mid­dle­more Hospi­tal is warn­ing peo­ple to be ex­tra care­ful when light­ing fires over the fes­tive pe­riod.

Burns caused by bon­fires and bar­be­cues – most us­ing ac­cel­er­ants – ac­count for an as­ton­ish­ing 462 hospi­tal days for treat­ment over the past two years, Na­tional Burn Cen­tre clin­i­cal leader Richard Wong She says.

Men aged 20 to 29 and 40 to 49 years are most at risk.

Half the 56 peo­ple ad­mit­ted to the cen­tre had burns in­volv­ing more than 10 per cent of the body.

Five pa­tients had se­ri­ous burn in­juries with one sus­tain­ing burns to more than 80 per cent of the body.

Burn in­juries can lead to lengthy hospi­tal ad­mis­sions and can re­quire treat­ment for many years, Mr Wong She says.

That can re­sult in an eco­nomic bur­den for fam­i­lies be­cause of the po­ten­tial of per­ma­nent dis­abil­ity and emo­tional stress.

But first aid can help pre­vent surgery, he says.

‘‘Cool run­ning water for a min­i­mum of 20 min­utes is the best form of first aid.

‘‘Re­mem­ber to cool the burn wound but to keep the pa­tient warm.’’

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