Risk of burns on 4th of July especially dangerous during national blood shortage

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Call volumes at the JMS Burn Center double on the Fourth of July from accidents related to fireworks and grilling.

“We commonly see these injuries associated with alcohol,” chief clinical officer at Burn and Reconstructive Centers of America, Beretta Craft-Coffman said. “Whether that be fireworks or grilling. So be sure that you have a sober shooter.”

Craft-Coffman says burns from Fourth July weekend are most common on the face and hands.

“Typically, people will light a firework and it doesn’t go off so they reignite it and it goes off in their hand, or the firework will clearly say, ‘don’t hold in your hand’ and people will hold them and they will explode in their hands,” Craft-Coffman said.

The American Burn Association recommends you seek medical attention if you have any burns to the hands or face.

You should cool the burn with lukewarm water, but never use ice.

“A burn injury, especially if it’s catastrophic, may require multiple units of blood,” Craft-Coffman said. “Luckily, during the fourth of July, most of the injuries are smaller burns.”

But unfortunately for those burned badly and are in need of a blood transfusion, we are experiencing a nation wide blood shortage.

“We do need products to meet that need,” director of community resources for Shepeard Blood, Ashley Whitaker said. “Plasma and blood donations are really important for anybody who has suffered burns.”

Shepeard Blood Center supplies blood to 23 hospitals, many of which are in Augusta. One blood donation saves up to three local lives.

“If everybody would make it a goal to donate blood about three times a year, we would not have the type of shortage we’re having right now,” Whitaker said.


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