How to Properly Treat a Burn Injury
Posted in Personal Injury on September 18, 2023
When a person gets diagnosed with a burn injury, medical professionals will need to take steps to help the victim heal properly. The treatment recommended for burn injuries will vary depending on the severity of the initial injury and where on the body the burn occurred. Here, we want to offer a basic review of burn injury treatment, but please reach out to a medical doctor immediately if you or a loved one have sustained a burn injury.
Medical Care for Burns
The required medical care for a burn injury will vary depending on the severity of the injury in question. Burn injuries are classified based on degrees, ranging from first-degree burns to fourth-degree burns.
A first-degree burn is considered superficial and will not have long-term consequences for a victim, and second-degree burn victims are also likely to fully recover. However, those who sustain third and fourth-degree burns will likely need much more extensive medical treatment.
Some of the various medical treatments that may be used to help treat a burn injury include the following:
- Water-based treatments. There are various types of water-based treatments, such as ultrasound mist therapy, which can help clean the wound and stimulate healing tissue.
- Burn cream and ointments. Various types of burn creams and ointments may be used as a permanent or temporary solution for wound healing. Ointments such as bacitracin and silver sulfadiazine can help prevent infection and promote the healing process.
- Dressings. A burn injury care team may use various types of specialty dressings to help the healing process.
- Fluids to prevent dehydration. Burn injury victims are susceptible to dehydration, particularly those who sustained burn injuries over a large percentage of their body. Individuals may need IV fluids in order to prevent dehydration and organ failure.
- Pain and anxiety medications. Burn injuries can be incredibly painful, particularly due to nerve damage to the area surrounding the burn. Individuals may need strong pain medicines as well as anti-anxiety medications, particularly for dressing changes and other procedures.
- Medications for infection. Burn injuries can leave a person overly exposed to developing infections, and the victim may need continuous IV antibiotics for a time.
- Tetanus shot. Doctors may recommend a person receive a tetanus shot after sustaining a burn injury.
Possible Surgical Interventions
In some cases, individuals may need to undergo surgical procedures in order to facilitate burn injury healing. Some of these possible surgical interventions include:
- Breathing assistance. If an individual has sustained a burn injury near their head, face, or neck, their throat may swell. If this appears likely, a medical professional may need to intubate a patient in order to maintain their airway.
- Feeding assistance. Individuals who sustain severe burn injuries may need assistance with caloric intake. A doctor may prescribe a feeding tube through the nose down to the stomach for temporary nutrition assistance.
- Skin grafts. A skin graft is a surgical procedure where a section of healthy skin from other areas of the body is used to replace scar tissue caused by severe burns. Additionally, donor skin could come from deceased individuals or pigs to be used as a temporary solution.
- Assistance with blood flow. Burn scars that go completely around a person’s limb could cut off proper blood flow to the limb. Additionally, scarring that goes around the chest could also make it difficult for a person to breathe. Doctors may need to cut into the scar tissue in order to relieve pressure and assist with blood flow or breathing.
- Plastic surgery. Reconstructive surgery may be necessary to not only increase the flexibility of joint areas but also improve the appearance of burn scars elsewhere on the body.
Physical Therapy or Rehabilitation
If a person sustains a severe burn injury, particularly a burn injury that covers any of their joints, they may need to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation in order to facilitate a full recovery. Physical therapy can help stretch the skin around the joints so the joints can remain flexible. Other types of exercises can help burn injury victims regain coordination and muscle strength. Occupational therapy can help individuals with their day-to-day activities.
Depending on the length of a person’s recovery time, they may need physical therapy and rehabilitation for more than just the burn injury. If a victim has lost strength due to how long it has taken to recover and regain activity, physical therapy and rehabilitation can help them rebuild stamina so they can get back to leading a normal life.
Individuals who sustain severe burn injuries may need mental health assistance. It is not uncommon for burn injury victims to experience immense psychological and physical pain and suffering resulting from the initial burn as well as the recovery process.
Medical professionals may recommend that a burn injury victim seek assistance from a licensed therapist, psychologist, or psychiatrist in order to facilitate their recovery process. Treatments can include counseling sessions and temporary or permanent medications.
Contact a Burn Injury Lawyer Today
If you or somebody you care about has sustained a burn injury caused by the negligent actions of another individual or entity in Nashville, you need to reach out to an attorney as soon as possible. A Nashville burn injury lawyer will be your advocate every step of the way.
These types of injuries can lead to a victim needing extensive medical care, often over a long-term period. This medical care will be costly, and it is important to have an attorney who can help sort through the claims processes so a burn injury victim can recover the compensation they need. Some of the types of compensation available for burn injury victims in Nashville include coverage of all medical expenses related to their injury as well as lost income if they are unable to work while they recover. Additionally, an attorney will work diligently to recover compensation for physical and emotional pain and suffering damages associated with the injury.