Basically, everyone has experienced the pain of some kind of burn but most of the burns we experience aren’t serious and don’t require medical attention, like a mild sunburn or accidentally touching a hot pot or skillet on the stove. However, other burns can cause serious injury or even death. There are four different causes of burn, which include heat (fire and scalding), electrical, chemical, and radiation. All of these burns may vary in severity and some, like electrical burns, may cause serious secondary injuries or medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest or broken bones from a fall. The appropriate treatment for a burn of any type is determined by its severity.
Determining the overall severity of a burn also involves the percent of Total Body Surface Area (TBSA) affected. As a rule of thumb, the size of one’s palm is equal to about 1% of TBSA. The deepness of a burn is also a factor in determining severity. When a burn covers less than 10% TBSA, it is considered minor. Burns covering LO%to 20% TBSA are classified as moderate, and burns covering 20% or more on of a person’s TBSA is major.
Other significant and injurious burns considered major can be caused by high voltage, the exposure to and inhalation of a known toxic and/or caustic agent, or substantial burns to the face, joints, hands or feet. Minor burns can be managed at home, moderate burns are managed in a hospital, and major burns require management at a burn center specializing in the treatment of severe burns.
Total Body Surface Area. There are 3,500 estimated burn, and fire-related deaths each year, with around 3,000 of these deaths due to residential fires. 500 of the deaths are from other accidents such as motor vehicle and aircraft accidents, electrical accidents, chemical accidents or accidents resulting from exposure or direct contact with hot liquids. Around 45,000 people are hospitalized each year due to burn injuries. Many of these people are hospitalized at medical facilities equipped with highly specialized burn centers dedicated solely to the treatment and recovery of severe burns.
A serious burn can be the result of countless causes which may be out of your ability to control or prevent. If you or a loved one suffers a burn injury and you feel it was the direct result of a product or negligence on someone else’s behalf, contact an attorney immediately who can help you through your time of need and suffering. You may be eligible for compensation to cover the costs of medical bills, loss of wages, pain, and suffering, and other financial burdens which may be experienced along your path to recovery. A serious burn can cause a lifetime of pain and scarring. Find an attorney with the expertise and proven litigation track record to help you obtain the financial recovery you are entitled to.
The best treatment for burns is prevention. It is estimated that at least half of all burns are preventable. Taking some basic precautions can reduce the risk of burns significantly. Perhaps one of the simplest steps one can take is to lower the thermostat on water heaters. This is especially true if there are young children in the house. Setting the temperature not higher than 120 degrees can prevent scalding while providing plenty of hot water and even saving you money on the operating cost of your water heater.
Electrical fires are one of the more common causes of house fires. To prevent a fire, have the electrical wiring checked by an electrician if you notice you are tripping circuit breakers or blowing fuses more frequently. One of the simplest yet least expensive preventive measures you can take to prevent electrical fires is never overload outlets or circuits. Limit the use of extension cords and make sure you’re not over exceeding the maximum load of a particular circuit breaker, fuse, or outlet.
It is also a good practice to have your heating system inspected regularly. You may not only prevent a house fire but may stop a carbon monoxide tragedy. If your home has a fireplace or wood-burning stove, be sure the chimney is clean and free of creosote buildup. Creosote naturally accumulates in chimneys as the hot by-products of a fire rise into a cooler chimney, condense, and stick to the flue. Chimney fires are 100% preventable. Proper maintenance, cleaning, and burning the correct type of wood are essential.
Common household cleaners, especially drain cleaners, may look benign, but mixing the wrong chemicals together can result in disasters like a severe disfigurement, respiratory burns or chemical burns to the face and eyes. Always read directions about potentially dangerous interactions carefully.
DEGREES OF BURNS
Burn injuries can be disturbing and dreadfully painful. Third-degree burn injuries often require years of care and rehabilitation including hospitalization, multiple surgeries, numerous doctor visits, and physical therapy. A good understanding of the types of burn injuries may help you decide what kind of treatment you may require in the event you are burned and how quickly you should act to seek medical help. There are four categorizations of severity, each more serious and requiring more extensive treatment. The classifications are:
A “First-degree burn” is the least serious type of burn as it results in the outer layer of skin being burned but not deep enough to affect the second layer of skin. It causes reddening, some discomfort, and is generally considered minor. The most typical first-degree burn is a sunburn, causing the skin to become red, some swelling at and around the injury along with discomfort or pain at the site which is actually a radiation burn and easily treatable with a variety of readily available topical medications and a dose or two of over-the-counter pain relievers. It is wise to avoid exposure to the sun until the condition has passed to avoid further skin damage and discomfort. Treatment for other first degree burns is similar, with significant relief in just a day or two.
A second-degree burn extends deeper and into the second skin layer. Although more serious and certainly more painful than a first-degree burn, these burns present themselves differently, take longer to heal, and require more attention. There are significant redness and blistering of the skin. While a first-degree burn is dry to the touch, second-degree burns are moist. If the burn is not properly cleaned, there is the possibility of infections such a cellulitis, a potentially dangerous condition if not treated. Second-degree burns can be caused by any number of accidents such a too long a contact with a hot surface, fire, scalding from very hot water, or an electrical or chemical burn. Even a severe sunburn or radiation treatment can result in a second-degree burn. Fortunately, second-degree burns don’t typically result in scarring. There are, however, instances where a more severe second-degree burn damages deeper tissue. This level of a second-degree burn presents itself as having yellowish or white skin, may or may not blister and is fairly dry to the touch. These burns may result in scarring and could require the excision (removal) of the affected tissue, and necessitate a skin graft. The recovery period may take up to two months.
The “Third-degree burn” is the most serious burn a person can suffer. These burns extend through all layers of the dermis and are extremely serious. Skin feels leathery and is discolored from white to brown. Because a third-degree burn does extensive nerve damage, they tend to be relatively painless after the initial injury. Treatment is much more radical, involving removal of the damaged tissue, often shortening of affected muscles, and in severe cases, amputation. Third degree burns always result in scarring. Healing takes months and patients aren’t able to be restored to complete normalcy. A Third-degree burn causes extensive destruction of the skin and underlying derma resulting in permanent tissue damage. Fat, muscle and even bone may be affected. Areas may be charred black or appear dry and white. Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn. For third-degree burns, you should immediately call 911. If you cannot determine the seriousness of a burn you should seek immediate medical attention. The time between when the burn occurs and treatment begins is exceptionally crucial. Hesitation and a “wait and see” attitude can cause a burn to become more serious and injurious to the sufferer.
Only the most severe burns are classified as fourth-degree burns. A fourth-degree burn extends through the skin layers, fat and muscle and to the bone. These burns are characterized as being very dry to the touch and black or charred in appearance with eschar (burned tissue falling off). Treatment always requires excision of damaged tissue and often amputation. Long-term effects are significant impairment and even death.
WHAT TO PUT ON A BURN – TREATMENTS
Treatment for burn injuries has come a long way in the last number of years, yet burns can be one of the most serious, debilitating and life-threatening of all injuries. A little knowledge, caution and common sense can go a long way in keeping you and your family safe.
Burns are very common in human life. Sometimes you get a burn while working in a kitchen while sometimes it is due to car muffler. Getting a burn when ironing clothes is also very common today. It is not just possible to avoid burns. You can just keep yourself well prepared for them. It is always better to know what to use when you are severely burned. There are various burn home remedies that are effective in severe burns. These home remedies provide comfort to the patient suffering from a severe burn. Some of the well-known and effective burn home remedies are as follows:
- If you get a burn, then the first thing you need to do is to wash your injured part with cold water. It will have a soothing effect and you will feel less burning sensation. If you will neglect washing your injury, then it may cause more damage to your skin. You can also use ice on your burn but make sure you put it in a plastic bag. Direct contact of ice with your injured part may cause you more pain.
- There are mostly three-degree burns that determine how bad it is. The first-degree burn will not cause blisters on your skin. It is a simple burn which will make your skin red and you will feel pain. Second-degree burn causes blisters on your skin and is much painful. Both these kinds of burns can be treated at home by simple home remedies. Just wash you burn and cover it with a gauze bandage. The third-degree burn is much severe as it turns your skin white, black or dark red. This cannot be treated at home and you should immediately rush for some medical help.
- Rubbing a fresh piece of aloe Vera plant on your injured part is also one of the best burn home remedies. It is a simple and an effective way of getting relief from your burning sensation. Experts believe that aloe contains few enzymes that neutralize the effect of substances present in your skin that are responsible for pain and burning sensation.
- You can also go for a vitamin E capsule after your burn starts to heal. Just open the capsule and rub it on your burn. Rubbing Preparation H-hemorrhoidal cream on your burn is also a good idea as it will also provide you relief from the burning sensation.
- Some old people may suggest for covering your burns with pats of butter. you should be aware of the fact that it is not at all a good idea as food products usually hold the heat in and will make your burn even worse.
- Vinegar will not do well in all burn cases. Yet, you can use it in some cases where it provides relief from your pain.
- Oatmeal bath is one of the best burn home remedies for people suffering from serious sunburns.
- If a household cleaner or another chemical splashes in your eye then you should immediately wash your face and eyeballs with clean water.