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Facts and Statistics
- According to the World Health Organization, an estimate of 180,000 deaths every year are caused by burns.
- As stated in a 2016 report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the total costs for the treatment of burns in 2010 were pegged a $1.5 billion, with another $5 billion in costs associated with lost work.
- In the American Burn Association National Repository, for years 2005-2014, statistics are as follows:
- The survival rate of burn victims is 96.8%.
- Males are more often affected, with 68% male victims, as opposed to 32% of female victims.
- 59% of burns affected Caucasian victims, 20% African-Americans, 14% Hispanics, and 7% from other ethnicities.
- Causes are 43% flame, 34% scald, 9% contact, 4% electrical, 3% chemical, and 7% other origins.
- A whopping 73% of burns happened at home, 8% while engaged in an occupation, 5% occurred on the streets, 5% during sports and recreation, and 9% from other places.
Understanding a Burn Injury
A burn is an injury to the skin or other tissues caused by heat or radioactivity, electricity, friction, or contact with hazardous chemicals. Thermal burns occur when some or all of the cells in the skin or tissues are destroyed by excessive heat or flame.
There are a number of other risk factors for burn injuries, including, but not limited to:
- Poverty and overcrowding;
- Lack of proper safety measures in homes and establishments;
- Small children involved in household roles;
- Underlying medical conditions such as epilepsy;
- Alcohol abuse and smoking;
- Use of kerosene as a fuel source for non-electric domestic appliances;
- Easy access to harmful chemicals such as acids in violent attacks; and
- Even car accidents.
How to know the degree of my burn?
Burn injuries are typically categorized based on the depth and severity of the skin damage. Here are the types of burn injuries, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
First-degree burns involve damage to the outer layer of the skin, the epidermis. An example of which is sunburn. It involves redness, mild swelling, and being painful to touch.
Second-degree burns affect the first two layers of skin, the epidermis, and the dermis. Signs include pain, deep reddening of the skin, a glossy appearance from leaking fluid, and blisters.
Third-Degree Burns are the worst type – penetrating the entire thickness of the skin and permanently destroying the tissues. There is a loss of skin layers and dryness of the skin. Furthermore, the skin may appear charred or blackened.
How to treat a burn?
Immediate care for burn victims plays a huge role in their diagnosis and later recovery. The kind of first aid to be given may depend on the cause of the injury (thermal, chemical, or electric), the body part affected, and the availability of resources.
In case you are the victim or have witnessed someone in the process or just after an accident involving fires and burns, below is the general First Aid Treatment for Burn Victims.
- Learn how to “Stop, Drop, and Roll” to smother flames and reduce burn injuries.
- Remove all burned clothing. If attached to the skin, cut or tear the clothing around the burned area.
- Get rid of all accessories such as jewelry and belts over the burned areas, since swelling may occur immediately and these tight fittings may cause an extreme level of pain to the victim.
- Call 911 as soon as possible for the deployment of trained burn-care professionals to your aid.
Specifically, for first-level burns, you should:
- Apply cool compresses, to continue until pain subsides.
- Cover the burn injuries with a non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
- Do not apply oils and random ointments which may cause infection.
- As home remedies, aloe vera, honey, and lotion can also be applied to reduce drying and accelerate the repair of the skin.
- If pain subsists, consult your doctor and ask for over-the-counter pain medications.
For second-degree and third-degree burns, almost the same rules apply but additionally:
- An important reminder: do not break blisters. The new skin underneath needs this protective cover.
- Lay the victim flat, elevate the feet, and cover the victim with a blanket.
- Do not attempt to use home remedies as these may worsen the condition.
- Seek further medical treatment as soon as possible.
In cases of severe burn injuries that amounted to actual physical damage, it is better to hire a Burn Injury Lawyer to properly account for and demand your compensation against the rule breaker.
How to prevent fire accidents?
As the popular saying goes, prevention is always better a cure. Rather than paying hundreds or thousands to hospitals to treat your burns, not to mention the physical and emotional pain it can cause you; the following prevention strategies can be employed:
For government agencies:
- Educate the vulnerable populations on the possible sources of burns and fire hazards. Have campaign drives and intensify fire-prevention efforts.
- Increase awareness by posting infographics and other helpful information online. In today’s digitalized society, this is probably the best mode to spread information.
- Develop and enforce effective policies at the State and Federal levels. Add teeth to the law and make sure that they are being complied with. Examples of which are having mandatory fire exits and fire escape plans for each building. Also included are the regulation of standards concerning flammability of consumer products, such as children’s toys and clothing.
- Require safety regulations for housing designs and construction materials. Encourage frequent home and building inspections.
- Train more burn professionals and put up different burn care units in more geographical areas.
- Fire department response time should be without unnecessary delays at all times.
For individuals and families:
- Install smoke detectors, fire sprinklers, and fire-escape systems in homes and buildings.
- Unplug appliances that are not in use.
- Triple-check electrical outlets before leaving your home.
- Use fire-resistant fabrics for clothing.
- Put hazardous and flammable materials outside the reach of small children.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready at home or office.
- Put the number of the fire department and burn injury lawyer in your list of contacts, for easy access.
Burn Injuries After a Car Accident
Car accidents can also cause fires and burn injuries, such as chemical burns in cases of collisions with hazardous trucks, or thermal burns from contact with ignited petrol or heated metal frames.
As a matter of fact, aside from the severe impact which can cause injuries, post- collision vehicle fires are the type of injury which poses the greatest risks to vehicle occupants. It can gobble them up literally in seconds. Passengers may luckily survive death, but the burn injury caused by the fires would demand exhaustive therapies, a long list of medical bills, and loss of earning capacity.
If you’ve got burn injuries in a car accident near or outside Las Vegas, it is better that you call a determined and reliable Burn Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas.
At Michael Hua Injury Law, we provide you the legal support you need to protect your rights and get the compensation you deserve for your damages.
Michael Hua is an experienced Burn Injury Lawyer in Las Vegas and would be glad to assist you get the compensation for all the damages caused to you by the burns in your body, in your car, and even in your home or workplace.
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