Burns are such a common accident that you are sure to have seen someone suffering from a burn in your village. A burn is a severe form of injury which causes significant soft tissue damage, as well as changes affecting blood volume (fluid balance). By fluid balance it is meant that people with a major burn will develop shock as a result of evaporation of body fluids from the burn surface; this reduces their blood volume even though they are not bleeding. While most burns are minor and do not require hospitalisation, extensive burns are a life-threatening emergency. You should also know that the very young and the very old do not tolerate burns well or respond so well to treatment.