A medical doctor, Dr. Jamiu Umah, has warned the public against the “unwholesome practice” of applying raw eggs and other substances as first aid on victims of burns.
Umah, of the Burns and Trauma Centre of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), said in Lagos, Friday, that the use of raw eggs, among other substances, to treat burns is “unhealthy and unscientific.”
According to him: “What is medically advocated as first aid for victims from hot substances, such as water, petrol, coal, fire wood, gas and even chemical burns, is to immerse the victim in water.
“The belief that robbing raw eggs, pap, engine oil, wet salt and wet flour on the bodies of victims of burns as a first aid measure is wrong, unsafe, unhygienic and inappropriate.
“The medical advice in such situations is to immerse the victim in water and at best, when possible, in cold water.” Umah said cold water would help to cool the heat energy that caused the burns on the victim in the first place, adding: “Heat energy is the main cause of burns and so the normal and proper application is to rob on the victim’s body a substance that will reduce the effect of the heat.
“And if the heat energy that aggravates burns is reduced, victims of burns at most can suffer from blisters and not deep burns penetrating into the skin and flesh.”
He said robbing engine oil on the bodies of victims of burns was the commonest in the last five years, with most of those brought into the hospital with serious burns having had engine oil robbed on them, with raw eggs as the second common item wrongfully applied on them by the people to stabilise burns patients before bringing them to the hospital.
He noted that applying wet edible materials as first aid on victims of fire accidents was unknown to medical science, research or advice, saying: “It is a huge misconception to rob edibles that have high protein contents on victims of burns.
“These food items contain protein that serves as food for bacteria and when applied on wounds, they will only create feeding and breeding grounds for micro-organisms to flourish.
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