Burns can be caused by excessively hot or cold temperatures, by exposure to steam, chemicals, or electricity, and by radiation. Whatever the case, burn injuries can be devastating, causing permanent damage to tissues and bones. There are several types of burn injuries, and they may be classified as catastrophic injuries, depending on the severity.
The 4 main types of burn injuries include:
- First-degree burns. These burns are the least severe, and often only affect the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. The affected area may appear red and be painful or slightly swollen and hot to the touch. Since these burns only affect one layer of skin, they typically heal quickly on their own without needing medical attention. Running cool water over the affected area and taking aspirin may help reduce any swelling and let the injury heal quickly.
- Second-degree burns. These burns affect the epidermis, as well as the second layer of skin, known as the dermis. They are more severe than first-degree burns, and are characterized by redness, pain, and swelling. Some deeper second-degree burns may result in blisters and scars on the affected area. Medical treatment may be required for this type of burn injury, but it will usually heal in a relatively short amount of time.
- Third-degree burns. These burns are serious, and are often caused by prolonged exposure to heat or chemicals. They affect the epidermis, the dermis, and the layer of fat underneath the dermis. The burned area may appear white or tan, and be leathery or stiff to the touch. These burns require immediate medical attention.
- Fourth-degree burns. These burns are the most severe out of all the classifications. They affect all layers of skin, and reach down to the fat, bone, tissues, and muscles. The appearance of the burn may be black or charred, and nerve damage may cause the victim to feel no pain. Because they reach so deep into the victim’s body, they can cause permanent damage or even death if not immediately treated by a medical professional.
Burns Can Have Long-Lasting Effects
Third and fourth-degree burn injuries are often considered catastrophic because they permanently hinder the victim from maintaining gainful employment. These burns can cause severe and extensive disfigurement, nerve damage, and even the loss of a limb. Medical treatment for severe burns includes applying skin grafts onto the affected area and administering antibiotics to avoid infections. The patient may also receive intravenous fluids to stay hydrated, and the affected area will be bandaged as it heals.
For third and fourth-degree burns, the patient may suffer serious complications. These include secondary infections, organ damage, and other severe life-threatening conditions. If emergency medical treatment is not received immediately, the burn injury may be fatal.
Living with the scars and disfigurement of a severe burn can be difficult and emotionally traumatic. Victims may have to adjust to a different quality of life, and will be unable to do the activities they once enjoyed. Furthermore, they will be unable to work, leading to financial strain as medical bills pile up. It is important to seek compensation from those responsible for your injuries, and our team is here to help.
Call Our New York City Catastrophic Injury Attorneys Today at (718) 690-3132
At Koenigsberg & Associates Law Offices, we provide compassionate representation to victims of burn injuries. We know you are going through a stressful time. That is why our Brooklyn burn injury lawyers will work tirelessly to pursue justice from negligent or reckless individuals. We will handle the legal issues of your case so you can focus on healing.
Contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.