If a person suffers a burn injury, it can be life-altering. Burns can be caused by fire, hot liquids and metal, electrical current, radiation and chemicals. Some are so serious that they require immediate medical attention, treatment at specialized burn centers and long-term follow up care.
The deeper the skin damage is, the more burn symptoms a person can experience. The extent of their injury may also not be apparent for several days.
First degree burns may cause redness or pain and affect only the outer layer of the skin. Second degree burns may cause swelling, blisters, pain and scarring as well as affect the second layer of skin. Third degree burns reach to the layer of fat beneath the skin, may be black, brown or white and can cause nerve damage or numbness.
Impact and Treatment
Burn victims can suffer from bacterial infections, fluid loss, breathing problems from hot air or smoke, dangerously low body temperatures, bone and joint problems and tightening of their skin, muscles and tendons.
Burn treatment can vary depending on the cause of the injury and its severity. It can be expensive and cause the victim to lose time from work while they heal.
Some burns may be addressed by over-the-counter pain medication, extra fluids, cool water or antibiotic cream that kills bacteria. Other burns are life-threatening and can require skin grafts to replace damaged tissue with skin from another part of the victim’s body.
Some victims may need physical and occupational therapy to improve function and can develop post-traumatic stress disorder after a burn event. If a person is burned in an accident or catastrophic event, an experienced personal injury attorney can pursue compensation on his or her behalf.