Burns may range from minor to life threatening. They all have one thing in common; the seriousness of a burn can’t always be determined by looking at it.
“While some burns look minor, that may not be the case, as most of the damage is done under the skin. It’s often best not to fool around with burn injuries, as one misdiagnosis can mean long-term damage,” said Robert W. Lee, an Austin personal injury attorney with Lee, Gober & Reyna.
There are various kinds of burns victims may sustain that vary wildly in terms of seriousness and the type of treatment required. Most burns are separated into different categories to allow medical professionals to treat the burn accordingly. For instance, a first-degree burn is usually fairly minor.
Most first-degree burns affect the upper layer of the skin, or the epidermis, and can be quite painful. Generally speaking, there are no blisters and the burns heal on their own without leaving behind scars. Those with first-degree burns usually don’t need to visit the hospital and they can handle them at home with OTC remedies. There are exceptions to that rule and some patients may need special care. It varies from case to case.
Second-degree burns are split into two sub-categories: superficial partial and deep partial thickness burns. Again, these kinds of burns involve the outer layer of the skin and the second layer, referred to as the dermis. These burns appear moist and usually develop into blisters. These burns are painful, because the nerves that sense pain have not been destroyed. These burns are hard to pinpoint, as at times they may present as first-degree and third-degree burns. Anyone suspected of suffering second-degree burns needs to be assessed in a hospital.
Third-degree burns are deadly serious and fully involve all layers of the skin; presenting with different colors such as white, red and brown. The burnt skin is no longer elastic and it is dry. Patients with third degree burns feel very little pain, as the nerves have been damaged.
“Burns this serious have a lower chance of healing despite long-term treatment and possible cosmetic surgery,” said Robert W. Lee, of Lee, Gober & Reyna in Austin, Texas.
Patients with burns this bad also have to be assessed for internal organ damage and damage to any other bodily part or function. There may be skin grafts to help speed healing and those with scars may be able to have them reduced through surgery. None of this is a walk in the park and those facing recovery from third degree burns have unparalleled courage. In cases like this, hiring an Austin personal injury attorney will ensure a fair and equitable settlement to help pay for the costs of treatment and allow the victim to get on with their life as best as they can.
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