The various types of burn injuries can cause permanent scarring and disability. When they are severe, it can result in a lengthy recovery process. As a result, the victim may suffer not only physically but also financially and emotionally as well.
Impact of Burn Severity on Recovery Time
A first-degree burn is a superficial injury to the skin that generally requires nothing more than first-aid treatment. A second-degree burn, where damage occurs to the top two layers of skin, can lead to blistering. With both there is oftentimes pain but healing is generally quick. The damage from a third-degree burn can be extensive.
According to the University of Rochester Medical Center, third-degree burns usually result from:
- scalding liquids;
- extended contact with hot objects;
- electrical sources; and
- chemical sources.
It may affect tendons, nerves, muscles and even the bone. Anyone who sustains this type of burn injury will require hospitalization.
The length of hospitalization and recovery will depend on:
- the percentage of body that was burned;
- the type of treatment required; and
- any complications that may arise.
Factors That May Impact Third-Degree Burn Recovery
The amount of skin damaged is one indicator of recovery time. There is a significant difference between someone who suffers a third-degree burn on the lower arm compared to burns that cover 90 percent of the body.
Treatment is another indicator of recovery time. Although skin grafts aid in healing, there are different types that require different healing times. For instance, if the epidermis and dermis were damaged, a split-thickness graft will replace damaged skin with donor skin. This requires taking healthy skin from other parts of the body.
However, a full-thickness graft is much more complicated. Not only are both layers of skin involved, but the blood supply and muscle is also transplanted. To complicate matters, sometimes a split-thickness graft is required for the donor site.
Complications can also factor into healing third-degree burns. Recovery may be extended if the patient develops an infection from the open wound or there are respiratory problems as a result of breathing in smoke from the fire. There may even be damage to the bones and joints which limits movement.
Healing can take months, with much of that time spent in a hospital. But even after being discharged, depending on the injuries, ongoing rehabilitation or physical therapy may be required. Third-degree burn recovery isn’t only physical.
There can be a lot of psychological damage as well, leading to:
- depression; and
- post-traumatic stress disorder.
Treatment involves learning how to cope with the emotional injuries and living with permanent scarring.
Do you need legal help to recover damages?
If another party caused your serious burn injuries, you may have grounds to pursue legal action to recover compensation for your damages. Expenses and losses can be extensive for sufferers of third-degree burns given the medical care and recovery time required.
D.J. Banovitz can help burn victims and their families pursue legal action against a negligent party responsible for the injuries. Call 303-300-5060 to set up a consultation to discuss your claim and the damages that may be recoverable.