By Gabriel Olawale
A PLASTIC surgeon, Dr. Folake Abikoye, has urged Nigerians to desist from applying preparations such as Aloe Vera, raw eggs, engine oil or cold pap to burns and wounds as First Aid, noting that running water should be applied to such injuries when they occur.
Abikoye who is Head of Department, Plastic Surgery at the National Orthopaedic Hospital Igbobi, Lagos, NOHIL, spoke during 2017 NOHIL Burn Awareness Week, warning that application of other substances to open wounds could expose the body to germs and possibly worsen the situation.
“All those things contaminate the wounds. There is fermentation in pap, and Salmonella in egg. Rubbing such sunstances is introducing dangerous organisms. This can also lead to a thick scar and worsen the condition.
“Once there is a burn, we encourage people to apply cold water to cool the area. If the burn occurred as a result of boiling water, putting it under running tap water instantly will rapidly bring down the temperature from 100 degrees centigrade to about 40.”
Abikoye cautioned about use of gasoline and matches stating that those whose clothes are on fire, should stop, cover, drop and roll on the ground.
“Scalds are the number one cause of burn injuries to small children so always check the temperature of the bath water and do not leave boiling water on the floor and do not leave children unattended in the kitchen. A child’s skin can burn quickly so make sure you keep hot drinks out of reach of children.
Also speaking, Consultant Plastic Surgeon and Chairman, Burns Prevention Awareness Committee, Dr. Taiwo Osisanya, regretted that many burns injuries victims do not often survive.
“Burns occur on the skin but the body in attempting to heal, places huge demand on all organs and in an event of extensive burnt, these organs cannot keep up with the demand, they tend to fail and we lose the
Osisanya advised that in case of fire emergency at midnight, every family member should have the safety knowledge, “when you wake up in the midnight and discover smoke in the house, get down on the floor, keep low because smoke is denser than air so it tends to stay up while oxygen you need to breath stays below.
“Secondly, find the quickest exit to the house. We recommend that before bed time, everybody should know where the keys to exit the building are kept.”
The Medical Director, NOHIL, Dr. Alimi Mustaphar said the hospital staged an awareness walk to Baptist Academy, Obanikoro and Adaranijo market in Shomolu Area of Lagos, to sensitize the public with basic knowledge of preventing burns. “For burns patient, we have facilities for emergency and admission. Our Burns Centre is equipped like intensive care unit to manage burn cases. When they recover, we have a unit that is involved in rehabilitation of all trauma patients, including burns.”