First Aid Facts – Burns & Scalds






  1. Follow DRSABCD – see below


  1. Extinguish burning clothing:
  • pull patient to ground
  • wrap in blanket, jacket or similar
  • roll patient along ground until flames extinguished
  • if a scald, quickly remove patient’s wet clothing from affected area.


  1. Hold burnt area under cold running water for 20 minutes, for:
  • thermal
  • scalds
  • chemical
  • bitumen
  • electrical


  1. Remove jewellery and clothing from burnt area unless stuck to the burn.


  1. Cover burn with a non-adherent dressing or aluminium foil, plastic wrap, or a wet clean dressing


  1. Seek medical aid


In an emergency, call triple zero (000) for an ambulance


  • DO NOT apply lotions, ointment or fat to burns.
  • DO NOT touch injured areas or burst any blisters.
  • DO NOT remove anything sticking to the burn.
  • Manage patient for SHOCK if burn is large or deep.


  • burn is deep, even if patient does not feel any pain.
  • a superficial burn is larger than a 20 cent piece.
  • the burn involves airway, face, hands or genitals.
  • you are unsure of the severity of the burn.



DANGER – Check for danger and ensure the scene is safe.

RESPONSE – Check for a response – ask name and squeeze shoulder.

SEND – Send for help – call Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance, or ask a bystander to make the call.

AIRWAY – Open mouth – look for foreign material and clear and open the airway.

BREATHING – look, listen, feel.

CPR – Start CPR – 30 compressions followed by2 breaths. If unwilling or unable to perform breaths, perform chest compression only (100–120/min).

DEFIBRILLATION – Apply a defibrillator (AED) as soon as available and follow the voice prompts.