Burns can be caused by fires or flames, electricity, hot liquids or steam, heated objects or chemicals. A number of factors determine whether you’ll be left with minor or severe burns. If it’s serious enough that it causes your skin to crack, then you may develop an infection that if left untreated, can turn into sepsis, a life-threatening condition.
There are three types of burns. The most minor is a first-degree burn. These can occur if an individual is exposed to steam, the sun or a heated object for a long period of time. First-degree burns only impact the epidermis, or your outermost layer of skin. They generally leave individuals with skin redness, swelling and minor pain.
Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and the dermis. Ones that measure no more than three inches in width are considered to be minor. Burns that affect a person’s face, feet, buttocks, major joints, hands or genitals, measures over three inches or have broken or blistered the skin are considered to be major and are vulnerable to becoming infected.
Third-degree burns are often life-threatening no matter what size that they are. They’re dangerous because they penetrate deeper than the skin and instead make it as far down as the fat underneath.
Individuals who suffer third-degree burns seldom experience pain at the wound site as the nerves are often destroyed. They instead feel discomfort in the area around where the burn occurred.
Those who suffer third-degree burns are at particularly high risk for both developing an infection such as sepsis and for becoming dehydrated. They can make their condition worse attempting to use ointments or ice on the burn, by soaking it in water or by allowing fabrics to come in contact with it. Those with this severe of an injury should always seek emergency medical help.
Dehydrated burn victim may be given intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics and painkillers to help improve their condition. Doctors may use special ointments and dressings on burn victims too.
Burns are more than just skin deep. Second- and third-degree burns don’t just leave a victim with visible scars, disfigurement and pain, but also with physical impairments that may affect their quality of life. In the most severe situations, it can help to have an Augusta attorney handling your case who is experienced in settling cases both inside and outside of the courtroom.