Burns can be extremely painful injuries to sustain in an accident. A motorcyclist may skid with the bike and suffer severe road rash, for example, or the occupant of a motor vehicle may suffer burns if in a fiery crash. Whatever the circumstances, treatment and recovery can be difficult, especially for those with third-degree burns. Some require skin graft surgery.
Burns That Require Skin Grafting Treatment
When both layers of skin (epidermis and dermis) are significantly damaged, it is considered a third-degree burn. To close the area, patients may be required to undergo skin graft surgery.
However, before this is done it’s necessary to first clean out the open wounds. This is done through a procedure called debridement. Not only do doctors remove dead tissue (such as skin) but also any foreign particles will be carefully picked out. An example of debris that might be in the wound is tiny pebbles such as if a motorcyclist slides across gravel in a crash.
Split- vs. Full-Thickness Skin Grafts
A split-thickness skin graft is when the surgeon takes both layers of skin from another part of the body (referred to as the ‘donor site’ and generally from an area hidden by clothing) and transplants them to the burn site.
When there has been damage beyond the two layers of skin, such as to surrounding tissue (muscles, tendons, etc.), then a more complicated procedure is performed. A full-thickness skin graft not only transplants skin from the donor site but also blood supply and muscle.
Scarring is possible with both types of skin grafting. Sometimes this necessitates additional cosmetic surgery to reduce disfigurement.
Health Complications That May Follow Skin Grafting
Because of the delicate and difficult nature of a skin graft procedure, a reliable end result is not always promised. Even with a successful outcome, there could be permanent scarring. There is also the chance the skin graft could fail. If that happens, a second surgery may be necessary.
The following are other health complications that could affect patients after skin grafting:
- discolored skin;
- excessive bleeding;
- loss/reduced skin sensation; and
Seeking Compensation for Burn Injuries after an Accident
It could allow for the recovery of damages if the burn injuries sustained in an accident were the result of someone else’s careless actions. These typically address the financial costs incurred, such as medical bills. Severe burn injuries can lead to several days or even months in a hospital. During the time of healing and recovery, any missed time from work could be recoverable.
A claim could also address physical and/or psychological injuries like:
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish; and
- reduced qualify of life.
To learn more about your rights or those of a loved one after sustaining serious burn injuries that required skin graft surgery or other treatments, seek legal counsel in the Aurora area. Call D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 or contact us online to set up a consultation.