How to deal with a Burn Injury
It is estimated that around 112,000 people visit Accident and Emergency departments each year as a result of burns and at least another 230,000 people visit their GP surgeries due to the effect of burns. Burns units also see an average of 7800 people come through their doors each year and over 200 people die annually as a result of injuries caused by burns.
The effect that a burn can have varies from person to person in terms of the tissue that is affected as a result of it as well as the severity of the burn and the complications that arise as a result of it. When it comes to what damage can be done from a burn then you are looking at facing damage to your muscles, bones, blood vessels and epidermal tissue. Any of these areas could be damaged with subsequent pain to your nerve endings. Depending on the location affected and the degree of severity, a burn victim may experience a wide number of potentially fatal complications including shock, infection, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress. Beyond physical complications, burns can also result in severe psychological and emotional distress due to scarring and deformity.
A burn can happen on any part of your body; the location of a burn by no means makes it better or worse; however a burn can be classified as either first, second third or forth with forth degree burns being the worst. First degree burns are usually limited to redness (erythema) a white plaque and minor pain at the site of injury.
Second degree burns manifest as erythema with superficial blistering of the skin, and can involve more or less pain depending on the level of nerve involvement. Second-degree burns involve the superficial (papillary) dermis and may also involve the deep (reticular) dermis layer.
Third degree burns are more severe and can cause damage to the underlying ligaments, tendons and muscles. If suffering from third degree burns you will most likely exhibit charring of the skin. These types of burns are often considered painless, because nerve endings have been destroyed in the burned area. Hair follicles and sweat glands may also be lost due to complete destruction of the dermis. Third-degree burns result in scarring and may be fatal if the affected area is significantly large. If extensive enough, it can increase the risk of infection, including bacterial, and can result in death.
Forth degree burns are the most serious and can damage bone tissue, which may result in a condition called compartment syndrome, which threatens both the life of the limb and the patient. Forth degree burns are frequently fatal.
Helen is the web master of Accident Consult, specialists in all aspects of Burns Injuries.