Fires and explosions can happen at home, work and in public areas. Although some burn injuries are minor and treatable at home, severe burns can damage skin, bones and muscles, along with emotional trauma. The type of burn typically determines the severity and consequences. Burns are categorized in degrees, with first-degree being minor and fourth-degree being catastrophic.
When only the skin’s outer layer is damaged, the injuries are categorized as first-degree. Mild sunburns fall in this category. Although the skin is red and sensitive, it will not blister, and there will be no long-term damage.
This type of burn damages the skin’s outer layer and the dermis, which is the second skin layer. The burned area will be swollen and bright red, and it could appear wet and shiny with blisters. Permanent scarring will depend on the severity of the dermis damage. Superficial damage would likely leave no scarring, but deeper damage could cause a scar and permanent skin color change in the damaged area.
This burn category is also known as a full-thickness burn because it totally destroys the top two layers of the skin. The victim might feel no pain because the nerve endings are damaged. Furthermore, instead of red, the skin will turn white, yellow, brown or black.
This degree of burn wound could be life threatening because the depth and severity of the injury destroys all skin layers. It also reaches muscles, tendons and bones. Complications like joint problems and bone infections could follow.
Consequences of severe burn injuries
Severe burn injuries can have physical, mental and financial consequences. Emotional trauma like post traumatic stress disorder and anxiety can be part of a burn victim’s pain and suffering. Furthermore, the person could be permanently disfigured or disabled while facing ongoing surgical procedures. If someone else’s negligence caused the decreased quality of life and lost income and earning capacity, the victim could seek damage recovery by filing a personal injury lawsuit in a Delaware civil court.