A Matter of Degrees: Treating Burn Injuries

Burns can be among the most excruciating injuries accident victims endure and can cause permanent injury, including loss of limb, nerve damage, scarring, loss of mobility, and host of other issues. For the victims and families of burn injuries, recovery can take a significant amount of time. Burns can range from first-degree minor blisters to more severe cases. Knowing what kind of burn you have suffered is important to obtaining treatment and in getting the care you need.

Victims may have sustained an injury in a fire, car accident at home using the grill or stove top or in a work-related accident. Our Spartanburg personal injury attorneys are experienced in the investigation of accidents and in helping victims recover the full compensation they deserve. If you have suffered a burn injury, we can help you recover financial support for medical treatment, pain and suffering, treatment, long-term care, lost wages, and any additional losses you have sustained.


A first-degree burn is a simple injury that may occur when touching a stove top, brief exposure to a flame or even sunburn. If you or someone you love has suffered a first-degree burn, you should soak the affected area in water for 15 minutes. No matter how severe the burn is, doctors assert that this period of time with water is crucial to protecting the skin. Even if you will be making your way to the emergency room, you should keep the injury covered with a wet cloth.

In addition to reducing swelling and pain, the use of water on a burn can release the pain and stop the worsening of a burn wound. In the long-term covering wound with water during the first 15 minutes will also help the area recover faster. For most first-degree burns, this should be enough. A patient may want to go to a general practitioner who can clean and dress the wound.

Second- and third-degree burns often require a hospital visit. If a burn is critical, then the patient may require a burn specialist and plastic surgery. The severity of a burn is based on the depth of the burn. Usually a third-degree burn is the deepest and will show discoloration. A victim can lose sensation and the burn could penetrate the skin and muscle. A second-degree burn usually appears with blisters.

The severity of a burn also depends on where it occurs on the body and how much of the body is affected. When a burn covers more than 15 percent and affects a victim’s face, neck, chest, hands, genitals or feet a patient should be admitted to the hospital. After initial treatment of a wound, a burn victim may have to go through skin grafts and other surgery, including reconstructive surgery.

Victims of burns may also suffer from smoke inhalation, which can be very dangerous and permanently damage the lungs. Older patients may be at a greater risk of deep burns and smoke inhalation, while a younger patient may have less risks. Though burns are very common, only the most severe burns threaten the life of the patient. Taking immediate steps to reduce pain, swelling and additional damage caused by a burn can improve opportunities for long-term recovery.

If you or someone you love has suffered a burn injury, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation with our North and South Carolina attorneys. Call 1-800-887-1965.

More Blog Entries:
New Film Captures Reality of Brain Injuries, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, August 2, 2013.

Victims of Asiana Crash Suffer TBI, Spinal Cord Injuries, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, July 16, 2013.

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