An article published in the Clinics in Plastic Surgery journal in Oct. 2017 captured how two of the more common conditions that burn victims suffer from that results in a significant number of deaths are nerve compression syndrome and peripheral neuropathy. The study’s authors note that the patients who experience the best outcomes receive the most effective and earliest treatment.
The authors of the study hypothesize that peripheral neuropathy likely results from the destruction of nerves when someone suffers a severe burn. They also discovered that patients who end up with peripheral neuropathy diagnoses tend to develop the condition anywhere from a week into their hospitalization up to several months post-closure of their wound. As of press time, the researchers noted that the most popular treatment of this condition was a surgical procedure aimed at releasing compressed “trapper” nerves but that they need to find additional ways to address this concern.
Individuals who suffer from nerve compression syndrome or peripheral neuropathy may experience various symptoms, including pain, weakness or signs of paresthesia such as numbness and tingling. Patients with nerve compression may also end up with muscle weakness and wasting as their condition progresses. Symptoms they experience may vary depending on what nerve it affects.
Some burn patients also develop heterotopic ossification (HO) or new bone growth among non-osseous tissue post-injury. Others grow scar tissue. Patients who develop HO may suffer from swollen or painful joints and nerve problems, resulting in a decreased range of motion. This sensation is most common in the elbow, regardless of where the primary injury site lies.
Nerve compression syndromes and peripheral neuropathy often result in an added decline in the quality of life that a patient is already experiencing in the aftermath of their burn injury. It can even ultimately result in their death. While it’s unlikely that anything you do will help your loved one return to life as it was before their accident, you may be able to recover compensation to allow them to get the best medical care possible. An attorney can help you hold any negligent party accountable to the fullest extent allowable under Georgia law.