Every day, people are sent to hospitals and emergency rooms with serious burn injuries. The American Burn Association estimates around 486,000 burn injuries require medical treatment each year. Despite being a highly common injury, there are many misconceptions about burn injuries. If you or a loved one suffers a severe burn in Kansas City, the attorneys at Dickerson Oxton can help you understand your rights.
Burns Are a Common Cause of Death Among Children
Children and the elderly are especially at risk of suffering fatal burns. According to Stanford Medicine, burns and fires are common causes of accidental death in children. An estimated 65 percent of children ages four and under who are hospitalized for burn injuries suffer from scalds. Nearly 75 percent of scalding burns suffered by children are preventable.
Burns Can Be Caused by More Than Just Fire
The most common type of burn injury is a thermal burn. This is tissue damage caused by contact with a source of extreme heat, such as fire, flames, a hot object or steam. An average of 43 percent of burn injuries that send victims to hospitals are thermal burns from fire and flame, while 34 percent are scalds. However, there are three other major types of burns: electrical, chemical and radiation.
Most Burn Injuries Happen at Home
From 2005 to 2014, 73 percent of burn injuries that required admittance into a hospital occurred at home. The number one cause of burn-related hospitalizations and deaths is overheated tap water. Kitchen and cooking accidents are also common causes of home burn injuries. In 2016 (the most recent year data is available), there were 2,745 deaths in the U.S. from residential fires.
Workplace Burn Injuries Are the Second Most Common
Aside from home, the workplace is the second most dangerous setting for burn injuries. Workplace accidents accounted for 9 percent of burn injury hospitalizations from 2005 to 2014. Working with hot objects, electricity, chemicals such as acids or alkalis, or sources of radiation can all lead to severe job-related burn injuries.
Burn Injury Survival Rates Have Increased Significantly
One positive piece of information about burn injuries is that the survival rate has significantly increased in recent years. Advances in burn treatments over the past 30 years have reduced mortality rates in people who suffer life-threatening burns, according to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. From 2005 to 2014, the survival rate for patients admitted to burn centers was 96.8 percent. Treatments often include medications, antimicrobial therapy, coagulopathy, burn coverage and surgeries.
You Should Never Try to Self-Treat a Bad Burn
Burn injuries come with a high risk of infection. This can lead to increased mortality in burn injury victims. It is critical to go to a hospital and receive professional medical care for any burn injury that causes a blister, breaks the skin or covers more than four inches of the body. When in doubt, seek medical care.
Burn Injuries Can Have Lasting Repercussions
Burn injuries affect much more than just the top layer of skin or tissue. Second-degree burns impact the second layer of skin, or the dermis, while third-degree and fourth-degree burns can affect the underlying tendons, muscles and bone. This can lead to long-lasting or permanent damage and a variety of severe health complications, including disfiguring scars, amputations, permanent nerve damage and issues with thermoregulation. In addition, burn injuries can have psychological and emotional effects on survivors and their families.
Severe Burns Can Turn Into Lawsuits
In some cases, a burn injury victim can file an injury claim with a Kansas City personal injury lawyer in pursuit of financial compensation. If someone else’s negligence caused the burn, the victim could hold that person or party financially responsible for related medical costs, lost wages and benefits, pain and suffering, psychological trauma, and more. Find out if you have grounds for a claim by consulting with a burn injury lawyer at Dickerson Oxton for free.