Burn injuries can be serous and traumatic, often resulting in scarring, pain, loss of function, and emotional trauma. Burns are classified into four different categories:
- Thermal burns – caused by contact with flames, steam, hot liquids and other sources of intense heat
- Light burns – caused by contact with sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet light
- Chemical burns – caused by contact with an acid or an alkali
- Radiation burns – by contact with nuclear radiation or ultraviolet light
Types of Burn Injuries
- First degree burns are red and very sensitive to touch; the skin will appear blanched when light pressure is applied. These burns involve minimal tissue damage and only involve the epidermis (top layer of skin). These burns may cause pain, redness and swelling. A sunburn is a good example of a first degree burn.
- Second degree burns affect the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and the underlying layer of skin (dermis). They cause redness, pain, swelling and blisters. Second degree burns also affect sweat glands and hair follicles. If a second degree burn is not treated properly, swelling and decreased blood flow in the tissue can result in the burn becoming worse.
- Third degree burns affect the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis, causing charring of the skin or a translucent white color with coagulated vessels visible just below the surface of the skin. These burns may be numb, but the burn victim may complain of pain due to other second degree burns. Healing from third degree burns is a very slow process due to the skin tissue and structures being destroyed, and third degree burns usually result in extensive scarring.
The treatment for second and third degree burns is the same:
- Do not remove burnt clothing.
- Make sure the victim is breathing and if breathing has stopped, begin CPR.
- If the victim is breathing, cover the burn with a cool moist sterile bandage or cloth. Do not use a blanket or towel; a bed sheet is best for large burns. Do not apply ointment and avoid breaking blisters.
- Separate burnt toes and fingers with dry sterile non-adhesive dressings.
- Elevate the burned area if possible and protect it from pressure or friction.
- Monitor the victim’s vital signs.
- Try to prevent shock by laying the victim flat with feet elevated about 12 inches and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. Do not place the victim in this position if it makes the victim uncomfortable or if a head, neck, back or leg injury is also suspected.
- Do not apply ice, ointment or butter to a burn.
- Do not allow the burn to become contaminated.
- Do not apply cold compresses.
- Do not immerse the victim in cold water.
- Do not place a pillow under the victim’s head if there is an airway burn and they are lying down as this can close the airway.
Our Burn Injury Lawyer Can Help You
If you have been burned due to the negligence or carelessness of another party, the Atlanta burn injury lawyer at Robbins & Associates, PC can help you receive the compensation you deserve. If the burn injury is severe, you might incur medical expenses for years, possibly even a lifetime. It is important that your settlement adequately covers these expenses so that you do not experience any unnecessary financial hardship as a result of your injury. A Robbins & Associates, PC attorney will evaluate your case and advise you on the amount of compensation to which you are entitled for medical expenses, loss of earnings, or the effect on your day-to-day activities.
If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, please contact our experienced Atlanta burn injury attorney today to schedule your free initial consultation. Robbins & Associates, PC serves clients in Atlanta and throughout Georgia.