Recovering from Burn Injuries in Oregon
Most people have experienced minor burn injuries at one time or another. From spending too much time in the sun to touching a hot stove, getting scalded, or spilling a caustic chemical, these accidents seem to be a normal part of life. Such occurrences are unpleasant enough that even children learn the consequences of touching something while it is hot, and we have all modified our behavior to attempt to avoid such burns.
But these types of burn injuries pale in comparison to serious burn injuries that are suffered by some personal injury victims. Serious burns can cause excruciating pain and disfigurement, and recovery can be long and difficult. The harms suffered can be physical, emotional, and financial in nature. In this article, we will discuss different types of burn injuries and the recovery processes associated with them.
Types of Burns
Doctors classify burns into degrees. These classifications are not based on how the burns occurred, but rather their severity and the amount of damage they cause.
- First-degree burns - First-degree burns are the least severe classification of burns. Only the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) is affected. These burns are sometimes called “superficial.” First-degree burns may result in pain, redness, and minor swelling. Skin may also turn dry and peel during the healing process.
- Second-degree burns - Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis (the outer layer of skin) and the dermis (the second layer of skin). They can cause extreme redness and pain. The burns can also result in severe blistering. More serious second-degree burns can also cause scarring.
- Third-degree burns - Third-degree burns destroy the dermis and epidermis and reach the fat below the skin. While more damage is done, these burns may actually be less painful than less severe burns because the nerves that feel pain are destroyed. However, there may be a feeling of numbness. The skin may turn white, black, or brown.
- Fourth-degree burns - Fourth-degree burns are the most serious classification of burns. They are extremely serious and can include damage to tendons, bones, and muscles, in addition to all layers of the skin. These burns can potentially cause loss of life.
Treatment for Burns
Treatment is determined by the severity of the burn and complications that arise. Less severe burns can often be treated at home with cool water and pain relief medication. Lidocaine and antibiotic cream are sometimes used. It may still be necessary to seek medical attention, especially if the burn covers a large area, is on a joint, on the face, does not heal properly, or exhibits unusual symptoms. Certainly, medical treatment should be sought if the wound doesn’t heal properly or shows signs of infection.
A person suffering from serious burns should seek medical treatment. Sometimes, emergency care is needed. Healing from serious burn injuries can be extremely painful and can take a great deal of time. Creams and ointments are used, and dressings need to be routinely changed. Drugs may be prescribed to prevent infection, deal with pain, and address emotional harm.
Other treatments for more serious burns include skin grafts, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, and additional treatment at specialized burn centers.
Serious burns can cause severe physical damage which may limit the proper functioning of the body and result in scarring and other changes to the appearance of the body. As a result, dealing with changes to the way a person looks can be difficult and cause emotional trauma. People may feel anxious and less comfortable with social interaction, including intimacy with a partner. Seeking mental health treatment can be essential.
Call with Questions
If you have suffered burn injuries due to the negligence of another, you are entitled under the law to recover damages and be made whole. We know that you probably have questions about your rights, and we are here to answer them with a free consultation. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Nelson McNeil Rayfield handle personal injury cases across Oregon. We believe that by holding accountable those who harm our clients, we can make all of society safer.