Accidents Resulting in Burn Injuries

Posted by on Sep 1, 2015 in Health, Personal Injury | 0 comments

Burns are among the most painful types of injuries anyone can suffer from and it is often surprising how even the slightest burns can sometimes cause unbearable pain.

Accidents that cause burn injuries usually happen in the home more than in the workplace or anywhere else. In fact, records from the National Burn Repository (NBR) of the American Burn Association (ABA) show that 73% of all burn accidents in the US are household-related (workplace accidents only total to 8%) and the most common victims are children and senior citizens.

There are different classifications of burns, each identified based on what caused them:

  • Thermal burn injury – This is caused by heat from boiling water, hot tap water, hot grease/oil, steam, hot food, hot drink, fire, stove, firework, curling irons and flammable liquids. The most common type of burn injury suffered by children and senior citizens is scald, which is caused by any type of boiling or very hot liquid.
  • Chemical burn injury – Chemical burns are caused by strong acids, bases and other irritants. Some of the very common products that cause chemical burns are pool chemicals, drain cleaners, car battery acid, cleaning products, ammonia, bleach and teeth whitening products.
  • Electrical burn injury – Besides burning the skin, electrical burns can also result to life-threatening internal injuries. Electrical burns can be caused by power lines, short-circuit devices, lightning and the many different kinds of electrical objects.
  • Radiation burn injury – This refers to damage to the skin or tissues due to radiation exposure. Sunburn, which is caused by UV radiation, is the common type of radiation burn; the dangerous types, however, are those caused by nuclear radiation, radio frequency energy, thermal radiation and ionizing radiation.

The severity of skin and tissue damage caused by burns determines what degree of burn a person is suffering from. Burns that affect only the skin’s outer layer are called first-degree or minor burns. These cause reddening of the skin and pain, though the pain these cause is not as unbearable as that caused by second degree burns, which affect the layer beneath the skin.

Some medical professionals say that the worst type of burn injury is a third-degree burn, which damages all of the skin’s three layers (the epidermis, or the skin’s top layer; the dermis; and, the subcutaneous fat, which attaches the dermis to the muscles and bones and the area where blood vessels and nerve cells get bigger and go to the other parts of the body). Others, however, add fourth degree burns, which affect the muscles and bones.

The worst and most dangerous burn degree (whether third or fourth) is also known as full thickness burn due to its depth and extent of damage. Despite its severity and, often, fatal effects, it no longer causes any feeling of pain as the nerves have already been damaged. This type of burn injury may also require amputation of the severely damaged limb, or either skin grafting or microsurgery to reconstruct the affected area of the body.

Awful pain and severe trauma, besides disfigured skin (until reconstructed) or death, are the preceding and consequential results of a burn injury. Everything becomes more painful, however, if the accident, which led to the burn injury, were caused by someone else’s careless or negligent act.

According to the website of the Portale Law Firm, negligence is the basis of most personal injury cases; as such, this type of injury is, therefore, preventable. Personal injuries are often followed by a tort action or a civil lawsuit that is filed by victims or their families for the purpose of seeking compensation for the harm caused by defendants’ acts of negligence (some defendants settle with victims to avoid the more costly lawsuits).

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