In the case of a calf-long burn, second to third degree, what should you do to treat it by yourself, if there is nobody to help?

I was also wondering, since grafting is the usual medical practice for such wounds, would a stitch help? (I know they work differently, but in a case of absolute emergency)

  • 1
    Try checking out worldbuilding.stackexchange.com It's a great site for works of fiction that require some scientific knowledge.
    – Celeritas
    Nov 24, 2015 at 1:06
  • 1
    @Sophie I edited the question to make it more general and applicable to general first-aid measures so that it's a practical first-aid question. I think that might raise the probability of your post getting an answer. Feel free to roll back if you think otherwise.
    – Dave Liu
    Nov 24, 2015 at 8:18
  • @Celeritas Unfortunately this isn't really a very good question for us at Worldbuilding. Consider the scope of Worldbuilding SE.
    – user
    Nov 24, 2015 at 8:54
  • @MichaelKjörling are you aware that DaveL edited to remove the part that this is for a work of fiction?
    – Celeritas
    Nov 24, 2015 at 8:56
  • 2
    @Celeritas I didn't check the revision history and see that that difference was due to DaveL's edit, but just because a question is asked as research for a work of fiction does not automatically make it on topic on Worldbuilding.
    – user
    Nov 24, 2015 at 9:23

1 Answer 1


The skin has several tasks. Among these are:

  • defense against outside threats like infection
  • keeping the body temperature as constant as possible
  • keeping the moisture inside

With large second/third degree burn wounds. Some or all of these functions are hampered. So we need to take care of these until the skin is cured.

The most important is of course to stop the damaging effect of the heat by cooling. Keep cooling until the pain is gone (but be careful not to use a coolant that is too cool.

You can counter infections by covering the wound with (preferably) sterile bandages. And you should renew these regulary. Try to keep the wound moist if possible.

Be aware that large burn wounds (around 10%) can lead to shock because of dehydration. So watch your fluid (and salt) intake.

If there is no medical help available, you should be prepared for a long recovery time.

For a bit more information

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.