Complications from Burn Injuries

By Victoria Ipri – Staff Writer

More than one million burn injuries are treated each year in the United States. Many of the victims are children. Sometimes, these injuries lead to disfigurement or death, not to mention the overwhelming expenses related to medical treatment of severe burns, and other financial and emotional consequences.

Burn injuries can be caused by many factors, including steam, scalds, chemicals and electricity, and are classified by either the surface area of the burn or the deepness of the burn. Severely burned individuals are cared for in specialized burn care centers. The larger the body surface burned, the less chance of successful treatment and survival. Burns to outer areas of the body tend to heal more easily as compared to burns suffered deep into the skin.

Full thickness burns, those that destroy both the epidermis and dermis, usually penetrate more deeply into underlying structures like bone, tendon and muscle, destroying sensory nerves. Such deep burns require intensive treatment and can result in severe scarring. Complications from severe burns include shock, dehydration, fluid or electrolyte imbalance, dehydration and tissue swelling.

Other Complications from Burn Injuries

Beyond the physical pain inherent in burn injuries, victims suffer psychological, emotional and social agony. Treatment is painful time-consuming, and costly. Physical and emotional support, rehabilitation and extensive care are needed for those that survive a severe burn injury.

Loved ones are often left wondering how they will care for their loved one long-term, whether a permanent disability will result, whether the adult patient will be able to return to work, and who will pay the many expenses.

Getting Help for a Burn Victim

In the immediate wake of a burn injury, the last thing on one’s mind is the cost. Over time, however, the implications of such an injury become clear. Fortunately, legal assistance can be invaluable, securing financial reimbursement in cases where a third party’s negligence caused or contributed to the burn injury. Asking for legal help early on can do much to minimize the financial and psychological pressures of recovery.