The Degrees of Burn Injuries

,Accidents happen, and now you have burn injuries. You are probably frightened and in pain. It can be a very hard time, and you do not know where to start. Reading about burns may help set your mind at ease and help you discuss any questions you may have with the health care provider.

First-Degree Burns

The lowest classification of burns, they are superficial and only affect the epidermis or the outer layer of skin. The injury site becomes painful and looks red and dry. There are no blisters, such as with a mild sunburn. It is unlikely there will be long term damage, perhaps a change in color. The pain subsides after about 72 hours. Within a week, it should have healed on its own. If it persists, see a doctor.

Second-Degree Burns

These are more severe and involve the epidermis as well as part of the dermis. Blistering occurs, and the site is dark red, painful and swollen. That is usually the result of something caused by chemicals, electricity, scalding or flames. Superficial second-degree burns take a few weeks to heal if kept clean and protected. You will need to change the dressing twice a day. Cleaning is also necessary in order to remove dead skin or medicine. If it is a deep second-degree burn, it may take longer than three weeks to heal, and you will want to have a physician look at it.

Third-Degree Burns

The wound site, with this severity, may appear charred or white. The epidermis and dermis damage may go into the subcutaneous tissue. It tends to be the result of skin exposed to something hot for an extended period. Chemical, electrical and flame sources might also be the cause. Sometimes, it can be a scalding liquid. The skin may become dry and leathery looking, swollen and discolored. The third-degree injuries take some time to heal, because the destruction is so severe compared to other burns. These more severe burn injuries require immediate medical attention. Skin grafting may be needed, as the skin will be too destroyed to grow back.

Fourth-Degree Burns

The most severe of the classifications, this is where damage has gone through all layers of skin and into the underlying bones. There is also damage to muscles and tendons. You experience no feeling at the site, as the damage has destroyed nerves. Skin grafting will likely be required, and hospitalization might be a necessity. Shock is a possibility and trying to keep your body temperature up is a wise idea. These more traumatic burn injuries have been known to cause a drop in body temperature, as unlikely as it may seem.

Complications of Burn Injuries

Third-degree burns have the highest risk for complications. Infections, blood loss, and shock are the most common. In some cases, the complications may lead to death. See a physician to find out how to care for the burn injury itself and manage the pain that goes along with it. To manage your pain, try ibuprofen. It might not end the pain entirely, but at least it will subdue it until the doctor can help.

In all levels, tetanus and infections are very real possibilities. Hypothermia and hypovolemia are also risks. It may sound odd, for a burn to cause hypothermia, but the loss of body heat causes dangerously low body temperatures. The injury may also cause blood loss. This could lead to Hypovolemia, which is a low blood volume. Here is more information about burns, to start off your research. It would also be helpful to mention to your doctor if you have had a tetanus shot. If not and there is a risk, you may need one. If you know, you have had one, but not when, give them an estimated year. That will also help determine if you need to take the shot. Better safe, than sorry!

Do I need an Attorney?

Burn injuries are a severe matter, and they are not cheap to treat. In some cases, you might need to take time off of work. Alternatively, the bills might pile up faster than you can keep up with them. Contacting an attorney early on is always a great idea. You were involved in an accident and it was not your fault. Moreover, now you have medical expenses to add to your troubles.

However, knowing what your options can be consoling. If you were at work or in a public place, you might be able to claim against insurance for your costs. You need an experienced attorney to walk you through everything will not only ensure that the process is as painless as possible. It will also increase the likelihood that you receive as much compensation for your time and pain as is possible. Read here for more information on what an attorney can do for you.