An occupational health nurse is called to the floor of a factory where a worker has sustained a flash burn to the right arm. The nurse arrives and the flames have been extinguished. The next step is to cool the burn. How should the nurse cool the burn?

Answer Explanation: Once the burn has been sustained, the application of cool water is the best first-aid measure. Soaking the burn area intermittently in cool water or applying cool towels gives immediate and striking relief from pain, and limits local tissue edema and damage. However, never apply ice directly to the burn, never wrap the person in ice, and never use cold soaks or dressings for longer than several minutes; such procedures may worsen the tissue damage and lead to hypothermia in people with large burns. Butter is contraindicated.

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