There are many variables to burns. They range from superficial to life-threatening. They can damage epidermis, dermis, blood vessels, tendons, muscles, and bones with varying degrees of pain depending on amount of nerve damage. Beyond the physical injury, there can be severe psychological and emotion trauma stemming from extreme pain, scarring, and disfigurement.
If your family has been touched by severe burn injury due to negligence, car accident, truck accident, or workplace injury; you need an attorney with experience with burn injuries to fully understand the scope of your pain and disability. We will represent you aggressively and ethically. Call 509.921.9500 or submit our free consultation form.
Burn Injury Statistics
Each year, according to the American Burn Association there are:
- 500,000 burn injuries that receive medical attention
- 4,000 fire and burn deaths
- 40,000 hospitalizations from burn injuries
- 8% are occupational burns
- 17% vehicle accident burns
On average, in the U.S., someone is injured in a fire every 32 minutes. Burn injuries are very expensive to treat. They comprise only 1% of the incidence of injuries, but 2% of the total cost of injuries; this is according to the Center for Disease Control. Burn injuries are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States, surpassed only by motor vehicle accident deaths.
In order to fully understand the levels of burns, you need to understand skin and the three layers of protection for tendons, muscle, and bones. The outer layer of skin is the epidermis. It is comprised of many layers of cells (50-150 depending on the part of the body) that protect the body. It is our main defense against injury and infection. The second layer is the dermis. This layer provides the elasticity to our skin. The third layer of protection is the fatty tissue. This layer is comprised of fat cells, hair follicles, and sweat glands. It is a critical layer of defense for our bodies.
When someone is burned, there is an incredible shift of fluids within the body. For cases where the burn area is greater than 20% of the body, fluid resuscitation is done. Patients who do not receive fluid resuscitation essentially die. Fluid resuscitation is done, during the first 24 hours, through IVs. Patients need to receive large volumes of liquid because so much body fluid is being sucked into the burn wounds.
Anatomy of a Burn
There are three universally accepted and defined categories of burns. They are:
- First Degree Burns – These burns are superficial, like a mild sunburn, affecting the outer layer of skin. The epidermis gets red, may be painful for a few days, the skin may even peel. There is no blistering.
- Second Degree Burns – These burns go down through most, if not all, of the layers of the epidermis. It will potentially reach the topmost layer of dermis. Fluid will accumulate between the epidermis and the dermis, forming blisters. These burns can be nasty, with an increased potential for infection.
- Third Degree Burns – These burns go so deep that they destroy all of the tissue through the dermis, reaching into the fatty tissue layer. In some cases, tendons, muscles, and ligaments are compromised. (When the burn reaches muscle and bone, some people refer to it as a 4th degree burn.) When burns look white, they are a deep 3rd degree burn and need medical attention. All 3rd degree burns require medical attention. There is a very real danger of extensive, life-threatening infection and shock.
The Spokane, Washington Law Firm of Robert Hahn is one of the leading firms in the area of Personal Injury Law. Our personal Injury clients have the peace of mind in knowing that their case is being handled by an experienced Plaintiffs injury attorney. Our aggressive representation and extensive experience has earned the firm of Robert C. Hahn, III, a stellar reputation for excellence in the representation of injured people. Robert Hahn’s goal is to provide excellent service by a highly experienced lawyer and legal professionals at an affordable fee.
After helping hundreds of injured people ranging from complex litigation to simple settlement of claims in Spokane and surrounding areas, Spokane Attorney Robert Hahn has the background to explain your alternatives and suggest a solution to your injury difficulties.If you are considering hiring a personal injury attorney, make sure that the attorneys you are considering practice in personal injury law because you need a law firm that deals with these issues on a daily basis.