Burn Injuries

Burn Injuries

It goes without saying that burn injuries are among the most, if not the most, painful types of injuries that a person can receive. Burns can occur in many types of accidents. The most common types of burns are thermal, chemical, or electrical burns. Thermal burns are the most common type of burn. Thermal burns come from heat transfer from fire, explosions, hot liquids or other sources of heat. Children are especially susceptible to thermal burns.

People are not normally burned unless someone makes a bad decision. Unfortunately, people sometimes make poor decisions when fire, heat, chemicals, or electricity is present, and people get burned as a result. If you or a loved one has been burned, there is a good chance that someone made a bad decision that could have been avoided. We have represented multiple clients who received burns in all types of scenarios, including explosions, electrical fires, gasoline/kerosene fires, propane fires, chemical burns, steam burns, and glycerin burns. We know what it takes to handle your burn injury case successfully and get you the compensation you deserve from the responsible party.

Burns are classified according to the depth of the burn in the layers of skin. A 1st degree or superficial burns is a burn to the top layer of skin or the epidermis. A sunburn is the most common type of first degree burn. A 2nd degree or partial thickness burn is a burn that reaches the dermis layer of skin. The dermis contains nerve endings, so burns to this layer of skin causes tremendous pain. Deep blisters also form with 2nd degree burns. A 3rd degree burn reaches the subcutaneous tissue. Charring is scene on the dermis level of skin. Nerves are burned leaving the victim without sensation in burned areas. A 4th degree burn reaches the muscle and bone, which leads to amputation or complete removal of muscle tissue.

The extent of the burns is measured by taking the percentage of the total body surface area (%TBSA) that is burned. The greater the percentage of TBSA that is burned, the greater likelihood for complications. Before a person reaches the hospital, first responders or medics are usually more concerned about %TBSA than about the depth or degree of the burns. The depth or degree of the burn becomes more important at the Burn Center, where further treatment is determined.

The deeper the burn, the more likely the burn victim will experience scarring. Scars are permanent. Visible scars lead to awkward staring; people are even repulsed by burn scars and behave differently around burn victims who have visible scars. Scarring brings unwanted attention from people. Children with scars are much more likely to be bullied at school, leading to depression, insecurity, reclusiveness, suicidal ideations, and even suicide.

Plastic surgery, including laser surgery, may help improve the overall appearance of scars, however, the scarring will permanently be visible. Burns to fingers, toes, and joints may affect range of motion, grip strength, and overall function. Surgery can improve these impairments and should always be considered. Burn victims may also wear pressure garments to help smoothen the scars to improve appearance. Nevertheless, the skin will never be restored to its original stat and the skin will always appear deformed.

It’s not hard to believe are burn victim clients when they tell us that burns hurt…a lot. Following the pain from the initial burn, the pain and can last for several months. Although morphine is administered aggressively as early as possible, pain is still present. One of the more painful procedures is burn debridement. Debridement is the removal of dead skin to allow new skin to grow and regenerate. The tool used to debride the skin resembles a cheese grader, which cuts under the burned layer of skin. A scrub brush is used to clean the burn, which is also excruciating.

For deep partial thickness burns, skin grafts are used. In skin-grafting surgery, the surgeon takes healthy skin from one part of the body using the “cheese grader.” The harvested health skin is called the donor skin. The donor skin is then placed on the burned areas. Recovery from skin grafts is painful and requires constant wound management, including changing of dressings and application of ointments to keep the skin moist and healthy.

Once the wound begins to heal, horrible itching—also called pruritus—around the burn areas begins. Some of our clients have described the itching as the worst part of the entire burn experience. The itching gets worse at night, which makes sleeping difficult if not impossible. The itching makes it difficult to concentrate, which disrupts school and work. Also, when a burn victim does something physically active, this also worsens the itching. All of this leads to a pretty depressing state for burn victims, even months after the burns were received.

If you have suffered a burn injury due to negligence, please contact our law firm to discuss compensation.

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