Busiest time of the year for burn centers

Nov. 24, 2011 at 1:59 AM
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NASHVILLE, Nov. 24 (UPI) -- Thanksgiving and Black Friday, "opening day" for the U.S. Christmas shopping season, also signal the start of the busiest time for burn centers, physicians say.

Dr. Jeff Guy, director of the Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center, said the "most wonderful time of the year" is also one of the busiest for the Vanderbilt Regional Burn Center in Nashville and burn centers nationwide.

"We see a significant increase in burn patients between Thanksgiving and Christmas," Guy said in a statement. "Your holiday, which should be full of joy and celebration, can quickly turn tragic."

Guy says many of these injuries are easily preventable and suggested:

-- Stay in the kitchen when cooking. Simply being more attentive can prevent most cooking fires.

-- Keep anything that can catch fire, such as potholders, wooden utensils, towels or food packaging, away from the stove top.

-- Deep-fried turkeys have become increasingly popular, but they should be used outdoors, a safe distance from buildings and never left unattended.

If a burn does occur, Guy advised:

-- 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 and might increase infection risk.

-- 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.

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