Treatment Of, and Recovery From, Catastrophic Burn Injuries

Treatment Of, and Recovery From, Catastrophic Burn InjuriesBurn injuries are one of the most excruciating and life-altering injuries that a person can experience. They not only lead to severe pain, but also result in multiple hospital visits, surgeries, physical therapy sessions, and relearning how to carry out your daily duties and tasks.

Many people who have burn injuries develop depression and anxiety as well as become self-conscious due to the permanent scarring and disfigurement from the burns. Burn injuries are usually life-long injuries that impact every aspect of a person’s life physically and mentally.

A San Antonio burn injury lawyer will work endlessly to determine who is liable for your burn injury. While this may become difficult and complicated, it is not impossible. Your attorney will thoroughly investigate to find out who caused your accident, which led to your injury and losses. Once this information is revealed, our legal team will do everything we can to hold the liable parties accountable for their negligent actions.

How are burn injuries treated?

According to the Mayo Clinic, burn injuries can be medically treated with surgeries, medications, therapy, and bandages. The healthcare provider’s objective is to reduce your pain levels, get rid of the dead skin and tissues, ensure that you do not develop an infection, and prevent as much scarring as possible.

Second-degree burns

Seconddegree burns are serious burns that affect two layers of your skin, which are the outer layer (the epidermis) and the dermis layer. These burns are very painful and visible. Most people who have second degree burns have swollen, shiny, and red skin. In addition, you will likely notice blisters, which are painful areas on the skin where fluid builds up.

If your burn is small, you can treat it at home. The Cleveland Clinic recommends washing the burn and holding it under water for between five and 30 minutes, and then bandaging it. They suggest you change the bandage every day.

If the burn area is large or on the face, if there are signs of infection, or if the victim is a child or older than the age of 70, you should seek medical attention.

Third-degree burns

Third-degree burns are very damaging to the skin and all its layers. When a person has a third-degree burn, their skin will look brown, yellow, black, or white. They most likely will not feel any pain or any touch to the burn area because this type of burn injury causes permanent nerve damage.

Third-degree burns require medical assistance, regardless of their size. A medical provider will debride the wound, which means removing any dead skin and debris. This can be a painful process, so you’ll likely be given painkillers. From there, you may need antibiotics and fluids. You may also require a skin graft. Skin grafts are common treatment recommendations for severe burns. This type of surgery removes part of your unaffected skin and places it on the affected skin to cover the scar tissue.

Fourth-degree burns

Fourth-degree burns are the most serious burns from which you can suffer. These burn injuries are a medical emergency, as they can become deadly very quickly. If you have a fourth-degree burn, all layers of your skin are likely destroyed, and the burns may have even made their way to your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. As a result, you may have a challenging time moving and using your limbs and body parts that have been affected.

Treatments for fourth-degree burns will depend on what happened to cause the burn: flames and chemicals cause very different types of damage, and the treatment will differ as a result.

One thing to note is that people with fourth-degree burns face a higher risk of going into shock, and may sustain permanent damage to the nerves and organs. Amputation may be necessary; so, too, may organ transplants. Victims will likely need significant amounts of cosmetic surgery.

What are the long-term complications of serious burns?

In 2019, BioMed Central published a study about burn injuries. The goal was to find out and understand the effects of burn injuries and the long-term complications that they cause. Here is what they  found:

  • Risk of cancers: Individuals who suffer severe burn injuries are at risk of developing all types of cancer. The study focused on a few different previous studies that revealed individuals with burns had an increase in risk of cancer. Some of the most common types of cancers that burn injuries can cause are larynx, esophagus, buccal cavity, liver, respiratory tract, and breast cancer.
  • Increased mortality: When adults or children experience burn injuries, their risk of mortality increases. The study relied on other studies to support this statement, which showed that children with severe burn injuries had an increased mortality rate. However, interestingly, the studies showed that adults with minor burn injuries had an increased mortality rate. An explanation given for this is “that individuals who survive major burns are strong physiologically, which provides a survival advantage post-hospital discharge.”
  • Risk of various diseases: Burn injury victims are also at risk of many different diseases that affect the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach, intestines, esophagus, and more. This usually leads to more hospital visits, stays, and treatments throughout their lives.
  • Infections and illnesses: Infections and illnesses are very common among burn injury victims. Regardless of how severe or minor your burn injury is, you are at risk of infection and illness. The most common types of illnesses that victims of burn injuries typically experience are pneumonia and the flu.
  • Cardiovascular problems: Those that suffer from severe burn injuries are likely to develop cardiovascular problems. Heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, circulatory diseases, and heart failure are all common among children and adults who have burn injuries.
  • Diabetes: Within the first five years, the study revealed that children and adults with burn injuries are at risk of developing diabetes. This is a disease in which your body depends on shots to get the insulin that it needs.
  • Musculoskeletal issues: After experiencing a burn injury, your bones and muscles may be severely affected. Some of the issues you may develop are joint stiffness, weakness in the limbs, issues with walking and getting around, and inability to move your hands, feet, arms, and legs.

Unfortunately, the study points out that there are around 11 million new burn injuries and 300,000 fatalities from these injuries across the world every single year. This is a serious problem, causing many diseases, illnesses, cancers, and other long-term complications around the globe annually.

At Pat Maloney: Accident & Injury Attorney, we know and understand that burn injury victims have a long recovery ahead of them. Most of our clients spend months or even years healing from their burns and learning how to cope with their injuries. As a catastrophic injury lawyer, attorney Pat Maloney understands the laws surrounding burn injuries, and he is ready and willing to help you file a claim at your earliest convenience. All you have to do is call our San Antonio office or fill out our contact form, and our legal team will be in touch to schedule your free case evaluation today.