Treatments for Burn Injuries
Treatments for burn injuries can be costly, painful, and time consuming. The American Burn Association notes that in 2013, there were about 450,000 burn injuries requiring medical treatment. Though some of these were minor injuries, with patients recovering in a matter of days, some were moderate to severe, significantly affecting quality of life for months and even years.
Victims of serious burn injuries often face not only physical trauma, but emotional challenges as well, as they work to adapt to their new condition. Meanwhile, they may be weighed down by the financial burden of treatment costs, therapies, and medications. All these burdens can be particularly difficult to bear if the injury was caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or malicious behavior.
The personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana have significant experience in burn injuries. We know how they can turn a family’s life upside down. We work to help you build a successful burn injury lawsuit, in which you receive the compensation you deserve.
Types of Burn Injuries
Doctors typically identify burns according to the following classifications:
- First degree: Also called “superficial” burns, these are the mildest form of injury, affecting only the top layer of skin. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and minor pain.
- Second degree: Also called “partial thickness” or “full thickness” burns, these types of burns affect the top two layers of skin and potentially the tissues underneath (in full thickness), and are considered serious burns. Burns have a red and wet-looking appearance, may blister, and are very painful. They require medical treatment, and may leave scars.
- Third degree: These are extremely serious, destroying all layers of the skin and extending into the tissues underneath. These may appear black or white, dry, and leathery. Victims may suffer nerve damage, which means the burns may not cause as much pain. In most cases, skin has been damaged so extensively that skin grafts are required.
- Fourth degree: Though not as common, these burns go through all layers of skin and tissue to actually affect the muscle and perhaps even the bone beneath. These are extremely severe and require extensive medical treatment. They can cause the death of the victim.
Treatment for Burn Injuries
Once a doctor has identified the type of burn, treatments may include the following:
- First-degree burn treatment: Pain can be soothed with cold compresses, over-the-counter pain relievers, and topical applications of cooling ointments.
- Second-degree burn treatment: Treatment depends on severity—from partial to full thickness. If partial thickness, the burn may heal on its own as long as it’s kept clean and protected. Medical treatment can facilitate healing with dressing changes and wound cleaning, and potentially antibiotics, to reduce risk of infection. More serious, full thickness burns may require some skin grafting, and regular medical attention to deal with the pain.
- Third-degree burn treatment: Because these types of burns destroy skin and tissue, medical treatment is much more extensive. Doctors usually “debride” the burned area, which means that they remove the dead skin and tissue. The victim may need an IV of fluids to promote hydration and will receive medications for pain and to reduce risk of infection. Skin grafting may likely be necessary, and in some cases, plastic surgery, to correct physical damage that affects appearance.
- Fourth-degree burn treatment: This type of burn is so severe that the area most likely cannot be healed. Doctors may have to amputate a limb or excise the area.
Your Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help
There are a number of ways that another negligent party can cause a burn injury. These include the following:
- Car accidents
- Chemical spills
- Building explosion or fire
- Product malfunction or fire (such as can occur with defective fireplaces)
- Electrical fires
- Workplace accidents
- Scalding injuries
An employer may not have maintained a safe working environment. A pipe in a building may burst, leaking chemicals that cause chemical burns—and potentially marking the owners of that building liable for failing to properly maintain the structure. A product manufacturer may have failed to include adequate warnings on their packaging. This was the case with victims of gel fuel burns (those who were burned with adding liquid fuel to a fire pot).
If you or a loved one suffered a serious burn injury or even death because of another’s negligence, the personal injury lawyers at Chaffin Luhana can help. We understand the steps it takes to build a strong case, and will help you gather the evidence you need, including medical records, witness statements, building specs, product information, and any other documentation that may support your position. To find out how we can help you, contact us today.
We represent individuals in the Ohio Valley in West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania and Eastern Ohio.