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Type of burn injuries and burn injury treatment

Serious incidents -- such as an automobile accident -- often leave victims with several serious injuries. In some cases, an injured victim will suffer burns on their body, resulting in tremendous pain and suffering. This type of injury can be very traumatic and difficult to recover from; however, based on the type of burn the victim suffered, the course of treatment can vary. Because of that, it is important to understand the severity of the burn. This could help the victim and their loved ones gain a better understanding of the burn injury treatment the person will undergo and how long the healing process could take.

The severity of a burn is divided into four categories. A first-degree burn is the least severe and only involves the top layer of skin. It generally takes less than a week for an individual to heal from a first-degree burn. Sunburn is a common first-degree burn. On the other hand, a second-degree burn is more severe. This involves both the epidermis and the papillary dermis. Such a burn injury takes about one to two weeks to heal, resulting in no significant scarring.

A third-degree burn is the most severe burn type, and unless it is treated with early excision and skin grafting, a third-degree burn could pose a high risk for infection and scarring. Moreover, if a victim is covered in third-degree burns, this also poses a risk for death. Lastly, fourth-degree burns involve injury to the muscle, tendons, nerves and bone. These are considered full-thickness burns and are very serious. Victims are at a very high risk for infection with a fourth-degree burn, and often result in the victim having the affected extremities amputated.

According to recent statistics, roughly 450,000 Americans are treated for burn injuries each year, and of those, an estimated 45,000 are hospitalized as a result of their injury. Of those hospitalized, roughly 55 percent of patients are admitted to one of the 125 hospitals nationally known for their burn centers.

No matter the severity of a burn injury, victims will need to take steps to ensure they properly heal from the injury. Whether it takes only a few weeks or several months to heal from a burn injury, an accident victim will likely suffer physical, emotional, mental and financial pain. If another party is responsible for the accident that caused the burn injury, the victim might be able to take steps to hold the negligent party liable for their losses and damages.

Source:, "When to treat or refer a burn-injured patient," Tish Myers, July 1, 2011

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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