Burn Injuries

More than 40,000 workplace burns occur annually in the United States, with 25 percent of accidents occurring at construction site locations. Despite the severity of the burn, all burn injuries require emergency medical attention because they could result in debilitating workplace injuries and affect worker productivity. Any burn that occurs at your place of employment qualifies for workers’ compensation. Common examples of burns include electrical burns when faulty wiring catches on fire; firefighters burned when putting out fires; inhalation of toxic fumes; spilling hot roofing tar; stove or boiling water burns at restaurants; corrosive or chemical burns; skin and eye burns from radiation exposure; and construction site fires.

A burn injury is a type of injury that may be caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, radiation and even cold. The amount and level of damage burns can vary greatly, including the amount of tissue affected, the severity of the burn, and the resultant complications that follow. Depending on where the burn on the body is located and how severe it is, a burn victim may experience complications including infection, shock, respiratory distress, scarring, and deformity. It can also lead to severe emotional and psychological distress. Burns are classified by degree.

First-degree burns cause minimal damage to the skin. These “superficial burns” affect only the epidermis, or outermost layer of the skin. Symptoms of first-degree burns consist of redness or erythema, minor swelling, peeling (of skin), and minor pain. These types of burns heal relatively quickly, as in three to six days. However, despite the symptoms disappearing once the skin sheds, you should still visit your doctor if the burn affects a large area of the skin (greater than three inches), or affects your face or a major joint.

Second-degree burns are more severe than first-degree burns because the damage extends beyond the outermost layer of the skin. Such a burn can cause the skin to blister and result in painful soreness. These second-degree burns need at least a week to heal. In order to treat a second-degree burn at home, run the skin under cool water for at least 15 minutes, apply antibiotic creams, and use over-the-counter pain medication as needed. However, if the burn affects a large area of the body, including the face, hands, buttocks, groin, or feet, seek medical attention immediately.

Third-degree burns are the most severe burns; they cause the most damage to the skin because they damage the epidermis layer and the subcutaneous tissue underneath. These burns result in scarring and may even require grafting. Treatment with an appropriate specialist such as a plastic surgeon for significant burns is important for proper healing.

For first and second-degree burns the prognosis of a full recovery is very good, especially when you properly and quickly treat the injury. Concerning third-degree burns, the outlook is not as favorable because these injuries can lead to problems in deep skin tissues, bones, and organs. Such burns may require surgery, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and even lifelong assisted care. These treatments can be extremely costly, but here at the firm of Sadow & Gorowitz, P.A., we promise to represent you, and fight for your rights in order to get you the deserving compensation.

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