Look After Yourself

Hello again! In this issue we're bringing you some handy hints to good health - so keep scrolling to learn more...

Health Videos

Did you know, Spinal WA has a YouTube channel? With videos on continence, bladder management, pain management and sex, it's an easy way to learn more about staying physically healthy so you can get on with living a good life.

Watch the video below by clicking on it, or see our choice of videos here.

First Aid Advice - Burns

Burns, blisters, grazes and cuts - what's the best way to treat wounds to ensure they heal properly and don't get worse? And - what're your best treatment options until you can get medical attention? Today we're focusing on burns, but stay tuned for the next issue too when we'll be covering skin tears.

Note: This information was kindly provided by Quadriplegic Centre community nurse Peter Jeremic, and Terry Swanson from the Wound Healing Institute of Australia - her full first aid advice for burns can be read here.
Even minor burns can become serious injuries requiring skin grafts if proper first aid treatment is not used. This was a simple burn which wasn’t treated immediately.

It blistered,

and then became this, which required a skin graft followed by skin flap surgery.

How serious is the burn?
  • First degree burn – there is redness/swelling/pain but no blister
  • Second degree burn – redness/swelling/pain and blistering
  • Third degree burn – white/blackened skin, may also be numbness.
When to get urgent medical attention
  • All third degree burns
  • Burns to hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, major joints (eg knee, elbow)
  • Chemical and electrical burns
  • If you are unsure of the severity of the burn
  • Second degree burn larger than 5 cm
First aid for burns
  1. Stop the burning process
    1. Remove the heat source and extinguish the flames on any clothing.
    2. Remove clothing from the affected area, do not remove clothing if stuck to the skin.
  2. Cool the burn
    1. Cool, running water should be applied for 20 minutes (such as water from a tap or a shower). 
    2. OR Spray with cool water.
    3. OR Sponge with wet towels, but change the towels frequently to keep the temperature cool.
  3. Do not overcool. Do not use ice. Cool the burn but keep yourself warm if possible.
  4. Remove jewellery such as rings or necklaces if the burn is in that area (as the area may swell).
  5. Prevent infection by covering the burn with a loose and light non-stick dressing or plastic cling film.
Do not:
  • Use ice
  • Touch the injured area, remove peeled skin or burst blisters
  • Remove clothing or anything else stuck to skin
  • Do not apply creams or ointments except on medical advice

Now click here for the full article, including signs of more serious burns and signs of infection.

Reminder: Be Treated at Home

As mentioned in our last newsletter, there are at-home care options you can consider should you require medical assistance. Get referred by your GP or St John's Ambulance and Silver Chain's Priority Response Assessment (PRA) will come and assess you in your home within four hours

Applicable to those in the Perth Metropolitan area, common conditions applicable to PRA include cellulitis, wound management and bowel management. From this assessment you'll be referred to your best care option, including the Hospital in the Home and Rehab in the Home programs mentioned in our previous newsletter.

For more information, call their 24hr Contact Centre on (08) 9242 0242


From the last newsletter: An abundance of exercise options for those with SCI at Rocky Bay


Spinal WA
Perth, WA 6000

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