Receiving a burn injury can range from a little Band-Aid, to multiple surgeries and skin graft treatments depending on the severity. When you have been a victim of any sort of injury it is important to be prepared, and specifically with burns understanding the severity of the damage will help you know the extent of your damaged skin. This information is very important when involved in an injury accident, and you are considering pursing a lawsuit. Many times accidents happen when we aren’t paying attention, but there are more common accidents that occur as a direct result of another person’s negligence or carelessness. Here are a few tips to consider when you are discerning the severity and degree of your burn injuries.
First degree burns are quite common, this can if you bump your arm with the curling iron, or accidentally splash hot oil on yourself while cooking. Symptoms of this minor burn would be some pain and redness. It is likely that the burn area will swell and turn white where the burn occurred. Generally these are not severe, and usually running cool water over the area will help lessen the pain. Remember you don’t want to use ice, but cooler water will bring some relief. Next you will want to make sure you protect the wound by covering it with a bandage; use one without adhesive to avoid getting the sticky stuff inside the wound. There may be some inflammation and pain, so if needed a simple over the counter pain medication can be taken. With first degree burns they can be treated at home, and will heal in due time.
Second degree burns are the next up on the severity ladder. Depending on the size of the burn will determine whether emergency care should be sought out or if it can be treated at home. Usually it will be no larger than three inches in diameter as a second degree burn. The common symptoms will include all of the above as well as even more redness in the area, blistering, and a lot more pain and swelling as well as a splotchy look. When dealing with second degree burns it is important to realize that these are not just surface level skin injuries, but rather affect the next layer of the skin as well. Make sure you don’t use ice when trying to treat a burn, and if there is blistering, whatever you do, don’t try popping it open to release the fluid. Lastly, it is common to want to relive some of the pain with ointments or butters, this may further irritate or infect the area, so avoid all topical treatments without the advice of a doctor.
Third and fourth degree burns are among the most severe types a person can receive. Not only do these affect the different layers of skin, but this intense of a burn injury can also reach as far as the bones, and the surrounding muscles and fat as well. A burn like this may also damage nerves, which would explain if you experience any form of numbness or tingling in the burn area. Other systems would be charring or even a waxy look of the skin where the burn occurred. You skin may have would seem as leather as well. These burns are generally caused from a prolonged time in the flames, rather than a quick encounter with a candle, etc. This severity of burns can happen when there is a building fire, and if that is the case, there is also a possibility of inhaling too much smoke therefore poisoning your lungs with carbon monoxide.
When dealing with these sorts of burns, the first thing you must do is contact the emergency services for immediate attention. These injuries require medical care, do not attempt to do anything that could further injure yourself. If you were wearing clothes that have now been burned to your skin, don’t try and remove the clothing, wait for the professionals to do that. Avoid using cold water to treat the wounds, the pain is going to be severe, but the cold water may further irritate the area. If at all possible, try elevating the areas on your body that received the burns, to decrease the blood pressure near the wounds.
Burn injuries are a very unfortunate experience to have to go through, but with knowledge prior to the incident, you may be able to prevent further injuries from occurring. Burns occur not only form exposure to a physical flame, but also if you work around chemicals certain exposure to your skin can have the exact same effect as a flame injury. Workplace injuries that involve burns are far too common today, and many times they are a result of another person’s mistake or failure to follow protocol.
While certain jobs are known to be much more dangerous, the likelihood of injury is significantly decreased when every individual is properly trained and educated on company and product safety. If people fail to follow these procedures, others get hurt, and many times when you suffer severe burns scars can last a life time. If you have been burned in an accident, consider contacting a personal injury attorney to discuss your situation. At Arnold & Itkin we have years of experience helping fight for compensation on behalf of burn victims, and we want to help you as well.