What should Mike on Survivor have done?

If you didn’t see it, this guy Mike burned his hands…really badly. Skin was hanging off and everything. So the first thing he did was run into the nearby river/stream. Then he didn’t know if he should clench his hands (he asked as he groaned in pain) or keep them outstretched. Someone told me that you should never put 2+ degree burns (Mike had, by the looks of it, 3rd degree) in water. It seems like that would be good, though, because in open air the tissue would dry and become really painful, right? So, should Mike have run into the water like that? And should he have closed his hands? Or should he have just stood out on the bank and waited for the medics?

I don’t know the answer to your question but I think that in the future you should wait to post a spoiler like this until the west coasters are in the clear(or at least give a spoiler warning). Luckily I’m in the East and already saw the episode…so I’m not upset. Just thought I should mention it.

Wise words Renton (You Hottie!).

Addressing the OP, I too felt he should NOT have jumped into the water. IANADoctor, but I think the skin hanging off was a result of the water + burns. My reasoning for not jumping into the water was two-fold.

  1. Blisters + open wounds
  2. Bacteria in the water
  3. Hi Opal!

Docs or armed forces members may comment. I can’t find anything in my kiddie survival guide. I’ll check on Google.

OOPS! Sorry, I didn’t think about that! If a mod could add " - Spoiler" to the end of the subject before it’s too late, I’d appreciate it. If not, I’m sorry to anyone whose Survivor Night is ruined. Sorry again!

The most important thing to do with any burn is to cool it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Mike either knew that, or instinctively made the right choice. Hands open or clenched…really doesn’t matter at this point, whatever feels most comfortable. Should say least painful, burns are incredibly painful!

Many years ago (1988- good Lordy!)I went home for the summer after my freshman year at college. They had just installed a new water heater, and had not really set the temp. I blacked out in a shower and inadvertently turned all the cold off, and cranked the hot up. Well, I burned the &^%$#@ out of my legs. I literally fell out of the shower stall onto the floor, and thought I had landed in a pile of toilet paper (I was very woozy). Well, the wet toilet pare was actually my skin. Watching tonight’s episode, I TOTALLY flashed back. Brrrr…shiver.

Yes- he should have jumped in the water! That halts the damage. Since they had modern medicine coming, infection was secondary to stopping the penetration of the burn.

I am anxious to hear about his recoup.
I had to spend two weeks in bed w/ my mother (former nurse) changing the dressings 4X a day.

Going into the water was the right thing to do. They can handle the bacteria later. It happened to me once & I put my hands in water & they put on a nice cream later.

You know what sucks? Debridement.

Ah, the Oedipal cure…

'nother burn victim chiming in.

the issue of infection was already present by the severity of the burns. Now, if the option was to dunk into sewage vs. a body of water, I’d have to defer on that one, but with burns that severe, the problem is that until you cool the surrounding tissue, damage will continue, and there’s nothing like water/ice to cool it down.

ouch. in sympathy.

(by the way, the ‘dryness’ of the air isn’t a factor - air temp might be to some degree - my burns happened in winter - very dry air but cooler outside than inside, and it felt better to be outside).

forgot, and I’d also second the advice re: hands- open/closed -
Do whatever feels better. don’t force them open if they seem to want to be closed or closed if they seem to want to be open.

During my healing, I was in a crouched position (similar to what I’d been in when burned - 2nd degree burns covering my torso from bra line to panty line covering my back and sides, partially covering my stomach). after the burns healed, I could straighten up w/o problem (no scars today, very, very lucky).

They were partial-thickness burns (old skool known as second degree). Had they been full-thickness (3rd) he would have felt little pain, as the nerve endings would be dead.

Now as to the OP: What mike should have done was not blown into the fire! Has he never been camping? Has he never seen a cowboy film? People poke really hot coals with a stick to get air on them. That fire had been going for a looong time. If he was trying to get the kindling to go up in order to light some dry wood, all he needed to do was stick the kindling on the hot coals. They would have lit without his blowing on them.

Now had Mike just been sitting there and he passed out from low blood sugar or something, that’s different. I feel bad for him either way. It just makes me wonder where the Hell were the camera crews? He had to be in that fire for awhile to get that bad.

The cameramen were there, from what I could tell. They weren’t on Mike the second it happened, but jerked onto him when he screamed. From what the other tribe members said, he’d pitched forward into the coals, spasmed for a second and then jumped up and ran for the water. So he wasn’t in the fire for a while at all-- it was a matter of seconds --pretty much long enough for him to hit the coals and immediately wake up. Coals be hot!

That made me darn glad that I don’t work as a cameraman. I can’t imagine seeing that happen and calmly filming it. Even though I couldn’t have helped at all, I would have felt compelled to do something.

I was wondering about the bacteria in the water, too, so I’m glad someone asked this!

I already find reality shows really creepy, and would never watch one, but this quote from the AP story seriously disturbed me:

No game, and no television show, are worth letting someone suffer.

The full story discusses Mike’s recovery (apparently he is fine now).

On “The Early Show” today, Burnett said they did get the action on camera, but chose not to show it.

Man, I cringed when he ran into the water. I had a medical microbiology course last semester and saw some pretty gruesome burn infections. Burn infections are not good. They can be caused by extremely common bacteria (like Pseudomonas) that were very likely present in the water, they are probably the most serious problem with burns besides the burn itself, and they can be extremely difficult to treat. Very little blood gets to the dead areas, so internal antibiotics aren’t much help. In addition, Pseudomonas infections in particular are pretty resistant to antibiotic treatment - several classes of antibiotics had to be developed for them alone.

So what should he have done? I’d say if the water really felt that good, use some of the boiled drinking water. Still, I can’t blame him for following his gut reaction.

save for two pregnant observations:

  1. I agree with AETBOND that Renton is “a hottie”.

  2. "anyone who dropped a camera to help Skupin “would have been fired on the spot. He would have been on the next plane home.” is an asinine statement.

  3. Hi Opal!

“So what should he have done? I’d say if the water really felt that good, use some of the boiled
drinking water.”

Yeah, right Smeghead, explain how he would pick that container up & open it & pour it on himself?

The reason he went into the water was to put himself out cause he thought he was on fire.

He could have had someone do it for him, obviously. Like I said, I don’t blame him for his gut reaction. I probably would have done the same thing in the panic of the moment. But if he were such a master of self-control that he were able to stop and think out all the pros and cons of the situation, that would have been the smartest thing to do.