|dc.description.abstract||The increasing prevalence of burns constitutes a major, problem for the doctor to-day. While there are many types of burns (i.e., thermal, electrical, chemical, radiation), all types result basically in the same pathological damage or destruction of the skin or underlying tissue. Fatal burns and scalds are largely due to home accidents, the causative agents being matches, un-screened fire places, hot metals or liquids, steam, overturned kettles of boiling water, explosions from oil or paraffin, volatile cleansing fluids, and even hot water bottles. Bums among Africans are quite frequent. The use of open fires, especially those in the huts during the cold season, involves many accidents, particularly for children, epileptics and drunks. Long- handled pots are easily tipped over, resulting in burns by scalding. Again, the increased mechanization and industrialization of the African increases the number of burn cases from accidents involving petrol engines and paraffin.
All of these types of burns may be considered together. In this article we will be especially concerned with burns among the young children and older people. Healthy individuals in the age group between childhood and old age have much greater burn tolerance (see Illustration No. 1). Let us consider the essentials of handling burns.||en