Treating Third-Degree Burns: Essential Steps for Effective Care

Third-degree burns are severe injuries that penetrate through the layers of the skin and can cause significant damage to tissues, muscles, and even bones. Treating these burns requires immediate and appropriate care to minimize complications and promote healing. In this blog post, we will outline the essential steps to treat a third-degree burn, emphasizing the importance of proper training. MyCPR NOW provides valuable resources and training programs to equip individuals with the skills needed to respond to burn emergencies.

Understanding Third-Degree Burns:

Third-degree burns, also known as full-thickness burns, involve complete destruction of the skin and underlying tissues. These burns can result from various causes, including scalding, flames, electrical accidents, or prolonged exposure to hot objects or substances. Third-degree burns are characterized by a dry, leathery appearance, a lack of sensation in the affected area, and potentially severe pain.

Treating Third-Degree Burns: Steps to Take

1. Ensure Personal Safety:
Before providing care for a third-degree burn, ensure your own safety. Assess the environment for any ongoing hazards, such as flames or electrical sources, and remove the person from further danger if possible. Remember, personal safety is paramount.

2. Call for Emergency Medical Assistance:
Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention. Call emergency services or ask someone nearby to do so. Professional medical intervention is essential to assess the extent of the burn, provide appropriate treatment, and prevent complications.

3. Protect Yourself and the Injured Person:
While waiting for medical help, take steps to protect both yourself and the injured person. Avoid directly touching the burned area without appropriate protective equipment to prevent contamination or infection. Encourage the person to lie down if possible to reduce the risk of dizziness or fainting.

4. Do Not Remove Clothing Stuck to the Burn:
In the case of third-degree burns, clothing may stick to the skin. It is important not to remove any clothing or fabric that is adhered to the burn. Removing clothing can cause further damage and increase the risk of infection. Instead, leave the clothing in place and wait for medical professionals to handle it.

5. Cool the Burn:
Unlike with minor burns, do not use cold water or ice to cool a third-degree burn. Cover the burn with a clean, dry, non-stick dressing or cloth to protect it from further contamination. Avoid applying any creams, ointments, or home remedies to the burn without medical guidance.

6. Elevate Burned Extremities (if applicable):
If the third-degree burn affects an extremity, such as an arm or leg, gently elevate the limb to reduce swelling. Use pillows or cushions to provide support and elevate the burned area above the level of the heart. However, exercise caution and do not force movement if it causes discomfort or exacerbates the injury.

7. Monitor Vital Signs:
Keep a close eye on the person's vital signs, including their breathing, pulse, and level of consciousness. If there are any changes or signs of respiratory distress, be prepared to perform CPR if necessary, following appropriate techniques taught in CPR training.

MyCPR NOW's Resources for Treating Burns:

MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and training programs to support the learning and application of burn care. These resources include:

1. Video Demonstrations:
MyCPR NOW provides instructional videos that demonstrate proper techniques for treating burns, including third-degree burns. These videos offer visual guidance on dressing the burn and protecting the injured person.

2. Interactive Learning Modules:
Their interactive learning modules cover the principles and best practices of burn care, focusing on different burn classifications and appropriate treatment methods. These modules provide in-depth information to enhance understanding and skill development.

3. Expert Guidelines:
MyCPR NOW's resources for treating third-degree burns align with recognized guidelines and recommendations. They ensure that learners receive accurate and up-to-date information from reputable sources.


Treating a third-degree burn requires immediate medical attention and proper care to minimize complications and promote healing. By following the steps outlined above and utilizing the resources provided by MyCPR NOW, you can respond effectively to third-degree burns and provide critical support until professional medical help arrives. Remember, proper training and continuous education are essential for acquiring the necessary skills to treat severe burns. By choosing MyCPR NOW for your training needs, you can access comprehensive resources and gain the knowledge and confidence to respond to burn emergencies effectively.

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