Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Burn doctors treat more patients during cold-weather months, urge caution with home heating

Date:
November 8, 2012
Source:
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
Summary:
With temperatures falling into the 30s this week, people across the mid-state in the U.S. will be turning up the heat to stay warm. But, as the temperature drops, the number of patients treated typically increases due to unsafe heating methods that result in injury. Heating fires account for 36 percent of all residential home fires every year and are the second leading cause of all residential fires following cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. It is estimated that more than 50,000 heating fires occur in the United States each year and result in 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property loss.

With temperatures falling into the 30s this week, people will be turning up the heat to stay warm. But, as the temperature drops, the number of patients treated by the Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center typically increases due to unsafe heating methods that result in injury.

Heating fires account for 36 percent of all residential home fires every year and are the second leading cause of all residential fires following cooking, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. It is estimated that more than 50,000 heating fires occur in the United States each year and result in 150 deaths, 575 injuries and $326 million in property loss.

Blair Summitt, M.D., Interim Medical Director for the Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center, says these fires can cause severe and even fatal injuries to occupants, with alternative sources of heat often to blame for the most tragic injuries.

"While space heaters, fire places and wood-burning stoves can help people warm their homes during the colder months, it is critical that they be used properly," Summitt said, noting that portable heating devices account for more than 50 percent of home structure fires. "We often see more patients this time of year from preventable tragedies and encourage people to follow strict safety guidelines when heating their homes."

Summitt offers the following tips to stay safe during the cold-weather months:

Heating equipment and chimneys should be cleaned and inspected annually. Keep anything that can burn away from heating equipment. Space heaters should never be plugged into an extension cord or power strip. Throughout the year, test smoke detector batteries and always have a fire extinguisher within easy reach.

In the event of a burn injury, Summitt offers these recommendations:

Flush the burn area with room temperature water.

Don't apply ice. It can be too harsh for burned skin and cause tissue damage.

"Folk remedies" such as applying butter do not help the healing process and may increase the risk of infection if the burn is severe.

Room temperature water alone or a very mild soap can be used to gently clean the area.

Keep the burned area clean and dry as it heals. The area can be covered with a light bandage if needed. A small amount of an over-the-counter ointment can be applied to keep the bandage from sticking to the skin.

Seek medical treatment when:

A burn covers a large area, especially if blistering occurs.

There is extreme pain or loss of sensation.

Burns occur to the face, eyes, hands or feet.

A burn involves chemicals or electricity.

There is smoke inhalation due to fire exposure.

A burn does not appear to be healing appropriately.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Burn doctors treat more patients during cold-weather months, urge caution with home heating." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 November 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108181143.htm>.
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. (2012, November 8). Burn doctors treat more patients during cold-weather months, urge caution with home heating. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108181143.htm
Vanderbilt University Medical Center. "Burn doctors treat more patients during cold-weather months, urge caution with home heating." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121108181143.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

      Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins