Knowing when to seek medical help for a burn injury is crucial for preventing serious consequences. The consequences could range from severe infections to death from shock. Recognizing the signs of a major burn injury is helpful for knowing when to call paramedics or visit the emergency room. If your burn injury was caused by a negligent third party, talk to a Kansas City personal injury lawyer to explore your legal options.
Minor Versus Major Burn Injuries
Differentiating between minor and major burn injuries means knowing when to seek emergency medical attention. Minor burn injuries tend to be smaller than the person’s hand and involve first- or second-degree burns. Third-degree burns are always considered major burns that require emergency care, regardless of the burn size.
While minor burns may not be deemed as serious as major burns, medical treatment may still be needed. Minor burns can still become infected without proper care. Your local doctor can provide treatment recommendations for at-home care along with medications to prevent infection.
Major burn injuries tend to be larger than a person’s hand and at a third-degree burn level or greater. Any burns to the face, hands, joints, perineum, or genitals are deemed major. Chemical inhalation and electrical burns are also severe.
Third-degree burns are burns that damage through the outer layers of skin and run deeper than minor burns. These burns may appear swollen, scarred, blistered, and charred. Partial-thickness burns covering more than 10% of the body are also considered serious.
Signs of shock, like pale or cold skin or fainting, need to be taken seriously. Shock can be caused by pain or the intensity of the situation and can sometimes cause death.
Get Immediate Medical Attention for These Signs of Infection
- Colored appearance
- Increased pain
How Major Burns Are Treated
Major burns are treated in emergency rooms and hospitals. Antibiotic creams and medications are used to decrease the chances of infection. Severe burns usually warrant strong pain medications to stabilize the patient and prevent shock. Intravenous fluids and blood pressure monitoring play a role in this.
Other major burn injury treatments depend on the level of the burn and where the burn is. Surgical skin grafts are often necessary for third-degree burns. Multiple surgeries might be required, along with options for plastic surgery. Patients may struggle with complications such as dehydration, edema, low blood pressure, pneumonia, and arrhythmia.
If your burns were caused by the negligence of someone else, consider contacting a Kansas City accident lawyer for help. A lawyer can help you file a lawsuit for significant compensation.