Monday, March 28, 2011

Burn Injuries- One of the Worst Injuries Stemming from a Car Accident

Recently, near Garnavillo, Iowa, 3 people died in a fire after a car ran off the road on Sunday afternoon. Tragically, those who lose their life included two children and an adult. Two other adults escaped but were also burned badly in the accident. For the KCCI story, click here. Of the multitude of injuries that can be sustained in car accident burn injuries have the potential to be the worst given the potential for pain, necessity for prolonged care, scarring and disfigurement.

Burn injuries are often catastrophic whether or not they result in death. The pain involved with such an injury is extraordinary. This is because burns affect so many parts and functions of the body including skin, muscles, nerves, bones, the circulatory system and the respiratory system. Further, this type of injury often has a lifelong effect on the victim given the likelihood of scarring and disfigurement associated with severe burns. Treatments include everything from topical ointments to scar revisions therapy and skin grafts. The psychological effects of a burn can also be severe and require therapeutic intervention.

There are many burns that can occur in a car accident. These include thermal burns, chemical burns, and electrical burns. Other burns, such as light and radiation are not as common place in an automobile accident. The most common type of burn is a first degree burn which is also the least severe. First degree burns generally involve only the top layer of skin and can cause pain, discoloration and swelling. Second degree burns penetrate deeper and involve the second layer of skin as well. Such burns are sometimes accompanied by blisters in addition to the above effects. Third degree burns are the most severe and require the most treatment and prolonged care. Such burns can result in permanent disfigurement or even death if severe enough or not treated. If you suspect you may have suffered from such an injury following an accident, even if you are not sure, seek immediate medical attention. For further information on initial treatment of burns click here. Sometimes following an accident an individual can be disoriented or in shock and not realize that they have been burned, or burned as severely as they are. Further, immediate treatment is the best way to ensure that the effects of a burn are minimized.

According to the American Burn Association in their 2011 fact sheet, nearly 450,000 patients were treated for burns last year. Of those, 3,500 resulted in death. 45,000 required hospitalization for acute burn care.

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