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Salisbury University BW
A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Environmental Safety
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Laboratory Safety: First Aid & Emergency

Thermal burns:

First degree (pain, redness, swelling):

  • Run cool water over the area for at least 5 minutes
  • Do not apply ointments or salves
  • Cover with a sterile bandage

Second degree burns (red skin, blisters) or third degree burns (white or charred skin):

  • Remove victim from heat source
  • Do not remove clothing unless it easily comes off
  • Cover burns with sterile bandages
  • Keep burns wet
  • Do not apply ointments or salves
  • Do not puncture blisters
  • Seek medical attention immediately

Chemical burns:

  • Remove contaminated clothing and shoes
  • Rinse the area with water for at least 15 minutes (sink, safety shower or hose that allows a large quantity of water to cover the affected area).
  • DO NOT apply burn ointments or salves
  • Cover with clean material and seek medical attention.
  • For burns to the eyes, flood eyes with water (eyewash) for at least 15 minutes. Avoid chemicals re-entering the eyes by washing from the nose out to the ear. Cover eyes with gauze and seek medical attention.

Chemical ingestion:

  • Seek medical attention immediately
  • If victim is able to swallow, administer water or milk. Do not administer water or milk if victim is nauseated.
  • If victim is unconscious, turn his or her entire body onto their left side. Administer CPR using a mouth-to-mask resuscitator, if possible.

Chemical inhalation:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Move victim from the area into fresh air.
  • If victim is breathing, lay him or her flat on their back, loosen clothing, and maintain airway by:
    • Placing one hand under the neck and lifting
    • Placing the heel of other hand on victim's forehead
    • Tilting his or head backward (maximum extension)
    • If airway needs to be opened further, thrust victim's lower jaw into a jutting-out position.
    • Treat for any chemical burns
  • If victim is not breathing, perform CPR until medical help arrives. If possible, use a mouth-to-mask resuscitator.
  • Severe wounds/bleeding:
    • Seek medical attention immediately
    • Lay victim down; calm and reassure him or her
    • DO NOT attempt to remove any impaled objects
    • Use a sterile bandage or clean cloth to put direct pressure on the wound. If this does not control bleeding, elevate the wound (above the heart if possible)
    • If bleeding is severe, cover victim with a blanket and elevate his or her legs about 1 foot.

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