Burn injuries from an accident can lead to a variety of serious complications, including infection. It most often occurs as a result of a severe burn or one that covers a large area of the body. But it can also happen while receiving treatment for the injury.
When a Burn Injury Could Lead to Infection
One of the key factors in preventing infection is timely treatment, especially with an open wound as bacteria can enter more easily. In severe cases it could lead to burn wound sepsis. But even minor burns are at risk of infection, especially if they create open wounds that allow bacteria to more easily enter the body.
But those with third-degree burns are most at risk. This is because both layers of the skin are damaged and may also involve damage to tendons, muscles and bone. The patient could face treatment in the way of skin grafts to repair the damaged areas as well as antibiotic or other treatment to rid the body of the infection.
Serious burns require hospitalization. The goal is to keep the area clean through a procedure called debridement. All dead tissue and foreign particles are removed. Medication will be given for pain and to prevent infection (antibiotics). Sometimes topical ointments are also applied.
When Treatment for an Inhalation Injury Could Lead to Infection
Another issue that can arise with a burn patient is what’s called an inhalation injury. This occurs when toxic fumes or smoke get into the person’s respiratory system. For instance, someone who has been involved in a fiery crash.
Many times this requires the use of a mechanical ventilator. But this also poses the risk of what’s called ventilator-associated pneumonia. The individual could face the risk of infection from the burn injuries themselves and may face infection from the treatment as well. Doctors and hospital staff will take precautionary measures to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia, of course.
Accidents That Could Lead to Burn Injuries and Infection
As mentioned, a fiery crash is one example in which someone might be injured in an accident. Another example is a motorist who is involved in a crash with a semi that is carrying flammable liquids. Or a motorcyclist who is thrown from the bike and skids across the pavement, suffering road rash.
Whatever the circumstances, it will need to be determined who was at fault. If it was someone else, it’s critical that the injured victim seek legal advice as soon as possible. There can be a lot at stake with this type of injury, both short- and long-term.
An attorney can evaluate the circumstances surrounding the accident, determine liability and help assemble evidence that supports the other party’s fault. Additionally, an attorney will take into consideration the current and potential future medical costs and lost wages associated with a burn injury. Just as important is to address the psychological and physical impact, such as pain and suffering and disfigurement from the scars resulting from the burn injuries.
Get help in the Denver area – call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to schedule your free consultation to discuss your case in more detail.