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Treating Burns from Explosions and Fires
Burns from explosions and fires can have serious, long-lasting consequences. Explosions in particular can cause burns and injuries that require extensive reconstructive surgery. Accidents like electrocution can also cause serious and even severe burns and permanent nerve damage. All of these types of injuries can result in expensive medical treatments, exorbitantly high medical bills, missed work, and lengthy recovery times.
Burn victims involved in serious accidents like these will often tell you that the physical scars pale in comparison to the emotional toll and often deep psychological pain that coincides with the trauma of the incident, the resulting disfigurement or loss of mobility, and any long-term medical treatment that may be necessary.
While it’s always best to practice accident aversion through the use of safety measures, accidents are sometimes unavoidable. If you cannot prevent the explosion, fire, or accident from happening, you can be prepared to help minimize the damage by applying the proper steps and treatments until emergency services arrive.
ACCORDING TO MEDICINENET.COM, BURNS ARE CLASSIFIED BASED UPON THEIR DEPTH AND ARE AS FOLLOWS:
A first degree burn is considered superficial, causing localized inflammation of tissues. Most mild sunburns fall into this category.
Second degree burns are deeper and, in addition to increased pain, cause inflammation and reddening of the skin. Blisters will also be present.
Third degree burns are moving layers deeper, involving all layers of the skin and severely damaging it. Third degree burns are often whitish and leathery in appearance, due to the nerve and blood vessel damage.
FIRST AID TREATMENT FOR 2ND AND 3RD DEGREE BURNS:
Remove the victim from the fire, explosion, or heat source, remembering not to take on any undue risk yourself.
Remove any burning material from the victim’s body and/or the affected area.
Call 911 or activate the emergency response system in your area.
Once the victim is safely secured from additional harm, treat the person for shock by keeping him or her warm, still, and focused on conversation. Try to wrap the injured areas in a clean sheet if possible.
DO NOT use ice or cold water to treat the burn or the victim, as this may result in a drop in body temperature, increasing the risk for shock and hypothermia.
Burns on the face, hands, and feet are always to be considered a significant injury.
TREATMENT OF MINOR BURNS (1ST OR 2ND DEGREE IN A SMALL AREA OF THE BODY):
Gently clean and cool the wound with lukewarm water.
Do NOT use butter or oil to treat the burn.
Remove all rings, bracelets, and articles that may cause further issues as swelling occurs.
Apply a topical antibiotic ointment like Neosporin to help treat the burn.
If the burn appears to be more severe than initially thought and you suspect 2nd or 3rd degree burn status, medical advice should be sought.
TREATMENT OF ELECTRICAL BURNS:
Always seek medical attention.
TREATMENT OF CHEMICAL BURNS:
Identify the chemical(s) involved.
Victims of chemical burns should always consult the Poison Control Center in the area or go directly to the local hospital’s emergency room. You can also contact the Poison Help hotline at 1-800-222-1222 to be directed to your local poison control center. Though many chemical burns may be treated with local wound care, some chemicals can cause life-threatening injuries and need emergency intervention.
Those experiencing chemical burns to their eyes should seek immediate emergency care.
If you’ve been burned as the result of a fire, explosion, or accident, seek qualified medical attention and then contact Meshbesher & Spence as soon as possible for a consultation with our personal injury attorneys and medical experts. Our attorneys are available to visit you in the hospital or in your home, as well as in our offices, and will help you determine if you will be able to recover damages for your injuries.