Serious burn injuries damage bodily tissue via contact through flames, heat, radiation, or electricity. According to the Cleveland Clinic, emergency rooms treat nearly 500,000 patients for burns every year.
While first and second-degree burns usually cause only minor effects, third-degree burns are far more serious. In this case, burns will affect all three layers of the skin. Severe burn injuries are third degree burns that affect more than 1% of the body.
Common treatments for major burn injuries
Extensive damage to the skin requires a grafting procedure that uses healthy skin from other areas of the body. In the event healthy tissue is not available, doctors use skin from a deceased donor. Artificial skin is also used to cover damaged areas. However, these grafts are only temporary solutions.
Major burns also cause dehydration. Accordingly, doctors provide fluids to ensure the patients is properly hydrated. IV fluid infusion also keeps blood pressure levels in the normal range. If blood pressure dips too low, the patient will go into shock.
In addition to the effects to the skin, major burns are also associated with many potential complications. Fluid retention in the body leads to swelling. If electricity was the cause of the injury, it may affect the heart’s rhythm. Burn injuries can also affect other organs and potentially even cause organ failure.
Infection is another possible complication of severe burn injuries. If the infection spreads to the blood, sepsis may develop. The nature of these injuries also cause some people to develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
After providing treatment for burns and complications, therapy is required to regain function. Many burn injury victims often receive both physical and occupational therapy. Both of these services can be costly.
Burns caused by negligence
While things like violence may cause burns, accidents caused by another party’s negligence also happen. Some sources of burn injuries include:
- Chemicals: Improperly labeling or handling of substances such as acids can severely damage exposed skin. Similarly, hot liquids and steam can also cause burns.
- Electricity: Electrical currents can be harmful if a responsible party fails to post proper warnings or is otherwise negligent.
- Hot surfaces: Metal, glass and other materials can be dangerous to the touch with prolonged exposure to heat.
Seeking treatment after a burn accident is imperative for identifying the short and long-term impacts of your injury. A personal injury attorney can help fight for your recovery.