What happens after a burn injury?

After a burn, a person may need immediate and long-term medical care to avoid possible complications from the serious injury.

Most Georgia residents know that fire can lead to burn wounds, but there are a lot of other ways this type of injury can occur. The American Burn Association states that nearly half of the burns that required medical attention were caused by flames, but 34% were caused by scalding liquid, 3% by chemicals and 4% by electricity over the course of a nine-year span. With so many potential causes of a burn, it is not surprising that there were 486,000 injuries of this nature that received medical attention over the course of a single year. Of the injuries reported, some happened at home, at work or in a car crash.

Immediate medical treatments

A serious burn, or one that affects the second or third layer of skin in addition to the epidermis, may require specialized medical attention. Even a minor burn that affects a large portion of the body can require medical treatment. The first step in treating this type of wound is an assessment. Doctors and nurses have to understand how deep the burn is and which body parts are affected to create the best treatment plan possible. After the initial assessment, a person may have to take pain medications, use topical ointments, stimulate the wound with water therapy, have regular dressing changes or receive antibiotics.

Ongoing therapies

Even after the initial injury is addressed, some patients may require long-term help. Physical therapy, for instance, can help people who have burned joints learn how to stretch out the injured area. If a burn resulted in the loss of motor function, a person may need to go to occupational therapy to relearn how to do daily activities.

Possible complications

While the burn itself can be problematic enough, this type of injury can leave a person susceptible to other medical issues. Not only could a person have long-term scarring, but he or she may also have other complications, including the following:

  • Low body temperature
  • Tightening of tendons, skin or muscles
  • Breathing problems
  • Fluid loss

Another common complication to watch out for during the healing process is an infection. If an infection is not treated promptly, it can enter the bloodstream and lead to sepsis. Because this type of tissue damage can have so many repercussions, it is often necessary for anyone with a serious wound to follow a medical plan carefully.

Georgia residents who spend too much time in the sun, have a dangerous chemical spilled on them or get caught in a fire may have serious tissue damage. No matter what caused a serious burn, it may be beneficial to work with an attorney who is familiar with this type of personal injury case.