A burn is a skin injury. Burn injuries in the United States have been increasing, which results in a major health risk. Some common types of burn injuries are from:
*thermal burn injury from heat or flame. Hot liquids are the most common cause of a child’s burn injury. Thermal burn injury is common and may be caused by flame, steam, hot metals, hot oil or grease, hot liquids ("scald burns"), fireworks, space heaters, electrical malfunctions, or improperly stored flammable liquids such as gasoline. Thermal burns resulting from explosions – such as from gas tanks, car accidents, boat accidents, and airplane accidents – can be swift and severe when fuel and clothing ignite.
*electricity – can be from faulty or defective electrical wiring, or from a household appliance or sticking a metal object into a toaster or electrical outlet.
*chemicals – from caustic substances such as acids or alkaloids, etc. (acid burn). The chemical may keep burning until it is flushed away by washing the skin. Jewelry or clothing that may have been splashed with the chemical should be removed. Some household products that can cause chemical burns include bleach, paint thinner, battery fluid, pool chemicals, and drain cleaners. Chemical burns can also occur in the workplace.
*radiation – from x-rays, radiation therapy for cancer treatment, or tanning beds. Sunburn also falls under the category of radiation burns.
*friction – can be like an abrasion, such as "road rash" from a motorcycle accident.
Most burns only affect the skin. More serious burns can affect deeper tissue of the burn victim, for example, muscle, bone, and blood vessels. A victim of a burn accident may go into shock, which is dangerous. A burn injury (burn injuries) tends to be painful, because the skin is rich with nerve endings, and the burn usually damages those nerve endings – firing up the nerves and sending pain signals to the brain. The burn victim may feel sharp pain, tingling or stinging. In the most severe cases, a burn injury can result in wrongful death.
Serious burns, along with amputations and paralysis, are catastrophic injuries that usually occur suddenly and without warning. For more information, click the link to see my FREE report on catastrophic injuries.
Types of Burns
Burn injuries are painful and they are classified by how serious they are. There are three categories of burn injury, the higher the number, the more serious or severe the burn:
First Degree Burn – A first degree burn usually appears red and affects the outer layer of the skin.
Such burns affect the surface of the skin, and may cause pain and swelling. A common example of a first degree burn is a mild sunburn.
Second Degree Burn - In a second degree burn the first layer of skin has burned through to the next layer of skin. Skin suffering from a second degree burn may not perspire or grow hair. Blisters develop and the skin can take on a deep red appearance.
Third Degree Burn - A third degree burn destroys both the first (epidermis) and second (dermis) layer of skin and extends down to the third layer (subcutaneous). Skin with a third-degree burn may appear white or black and leathery on the surface. Oddly, deep third degree burns sometimes do not cause any pain. This happens when the damage is so extensive that the nerves have been completely destroyed. However, the area around the burn may be extremely painful. A third degree burn is the most severe type of burn and the pain may cause breathing problems and increased pulse rate and leave terrible scarring.
Proper care of burns is vital, because burns can be quite painful and leave disfiguring and disabling scarring. Burns can be complicated by shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress. Large burns can be fatal, but modern treatments, improved the treatment of such burns, especially in children and young adults.
Burn injury victims may be prescribed pressure garments to wear. Pressure garments are used to minimize scar formation. Compression garments are fitted to the special needs of each burn victim, and customarily worn at least 23 hours a day, but removing for washing or bathing. However the duration of pressure garment therapy may vary, and last one year or more.
Exercise is important to keep muscles and joints moving freely and comfortably, with full ranges of motion. Often, patients are encouraged to begin moving their limbs as soon as the surgical procedures have been completed and skin grafts have taken. While exercise at this stage might be painful, it is vital in preserving normal range of motion.
The treatment for serious burns can take years and cost thousands of dollars. It can require numerous surgeries and skin grafts. The chance of the burn site being infected is extremely high.
There may also be need for psychological counseling to address the initial trauma of the accident event and the long term effect of scarring and/or disfigurement.
Burn victims may have special nutritional needs that may include extra protein to promote healing.
One of the most important things which must be done after your accident which resulted in your burn injuries is proper medical treatment by specialists of burn injuries. Fortunately, there are many hospitals and treatment centers in the New York City (Queens and the Bronx) area who specialize in burns and burn injuries from which you may receive the best medical treatment. Burn injuries have become so frequent that there are now more than 200 burn centers in the United States alone. Our New York City (and Queens, Bronx) burn injury attorney can assist you in locating the closest and best medical center for your particular burn injuries such as melted or burned skin, nerve damage, scaring or the loss of the ability to sweat.
Burn Injury Statistics
In the United States, approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported every year. Burns can be one of the most painful accidental injuries one can sustain. Those who suffer from such injuries can face a lifetime of serious healthcare challenges. Last year, an estimated 650,000 burn injuries were treated by medical professionals; 75,000 of those injuries required hospitalization.
At Gary E. Rosenberg, P.C., our New York City (Queens and the Bronx) burn injury lawyers are experienced in representing clients who have suffered all ranges of burns from first-degree to third-degree burns.
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