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081-831-1007 (SL1) - Perform First Aid for Burns

Standards: Gave first aid for a burn without causing further injury to the casualty. Eliminated the source of the burn, if necessary. Applied a field dressing lightly over the burn. The sides of the dressing were sealed and the dressing did not slip.

Conditions: You see a casualty who is suffering from a burn.  Necessary materials and equipment:  casualty's first aid packet and canteen of water.

Standards: Gave first aid for a burn without causing further injury to the casualty.  Eliminated the source of the burn, if necessary.  Applied a field dressing lightly over the burn.  The sides of the dressing were sealed and the dressing did not slip.

Performance Steps

1.   Eliminate the source of the burn.

a. Thermal burns.  If the casualty's clothing is on fire, cover the casualty with a field jacket or any large piece of nonsynthetic material and roll him on the ground to put out the flames.

b. Electrical burns.  If the casualty is in contact with an electrical source, turn the electricity off if the switch is nearby.  If the electricity cannot be turned off, drag the casualty away from the source using any nonconductive material (rope, clothing, or dry wood).


Do not touch the casualty or the electrical source with your bare hands.  You will be injured too!


High voltage electrical burns from an electrical source or lightning may cause temporary unconsciousness, difficulties in breathing, or difficulties with the heart (irregular heartbeat)

c. Chemical burns.


Blisters caused by a blister agent are actually burns.  Do not try to decontaminate skin where blisters have already formed.  If blisters have not formed, decontaminate the skin


(1)  Remove liquid chemicals from the burned casualty by flushing with as much water or other nonflammable fluid as possible.

(2)  Remove dry chemicals by carefully brushing them off with a clean, dry cloth.  If large amounts of water are available, flush the area.   Otherwise, apply no water.

(3)  Smother burning white phosphorus with water, a wet cloth, or wet mud.  Keep the area covered with the wet material.

d. Laser burns.  Move the casualty away from the source while avoiding eye contact with the beam source.

Note.  After the casualty is removed from the source of the burn, he should be monitored continually for the development of conditions that may require the performance of basic lifesaving measures.

2.   Uncover the burn.


Do not uncover the wound in a chemical environment.  Exposure could cause additional harm

a. Cut clothing covering the burned area.


Do not attempt to remove clothing that is stuck to the wound.  Additional harm could result


b. Gently lift away clothing covering the burned area.

Note.  Do not pull clothing over the burns.

Note.  If the casualty's hand(s) or wrist(s) have been burned, remove jewelry (rings, watches) and place them in his pockets.

3.   Apply a field dressing to the burn.

Note.  If the burn is caused by white phosphorus, the dressing must be wet.

a. Apply the dressing, white side down, directly over the wound.

b. Wrap the tails so that the dressing is covered and both sides are sealed.

c. Tie the tails into a nonslip knot over the outer edge of the dressing, not over the wound.

d. Check to make sure that the dressing is applied lightly over the burn but firmly enough to prevent slipping.

Note.  Electricity often leaves entry and exit burns.  Both burns should be treated.

4.   Observe precautions to avoid further injury.

a. Do not break blisters.

b. Do not apply grease or ointments to the burns.

c. Do not place dressings over the face or genital area.

Note.  If the casualty is conscious and not nauseated, give him small amounts of water to drink.

Note.  Watch the casualty closely for life-threatening conditions, check for other injuries, and seek medical aid.

Evaluation Preparation: 

Setup:  You will need another soldier to play the part of the casualty.  Simulate the burn(s) by marking the casualty's body with a suitable material.  Provide materials appropriate for the burn being simulated (piece of rope, blanket, water, field dressing, or clean cloth).  If a field dressing is used, use the same one repeatedly.  If an electrical burn is being simulated, have the casualty lie on a piece of wire or rope and have enough materials available to treat two simulated burns.

Brief Soldier:  Tell the soldier what is burning the casualty and have the soldier take appropriate action.  After the soldier completes step 1, tell the soldier that the casualty is conscious and has no injuries other than burns.  When testing step 2, you can vary the test by telling the soldier that clothing is stuck to the burn or that a chemical environment exists.


Performance Measures



1.   Eliminated the source of the burn.



2.   Uncovered the burn.



3.   Applied a field dressing.



Evaluation Guidance:  Score the soldier GO if all performance measures are passed.  Score the soldier NO GO if any performance measure is failed.  If the soldier scores NO GO, show what was done wrong and how to do it correctly.








FM 4-25.11