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What do the burn injury classifications mean?

Louisiana residents who have suffered a serious burn injury know how traumatic and painful these injuries can be. These injuries often result in long recovery times and careful medical treatments.

There are four different classifications of burn injuries, and different burns are classified according to how severe they are and how far they go into the body.

A first-degree burn affects the outer layer of skin known as the epidermis. It can be painful, but heals in a few days. A mild sunburn is a first-degree burn.

A second-degree burn involves the epidermis and the layer underneath, the dermis. The burn area is pink and appears wet or blistered. It is painful and can take a few weeks to heal. Skin grafting may be necessary.

A third-degree burn is where the epidermis and dermis are destroyed along with damage to the bones, muscles or tendons underneath.

The burn area may be white or black and appear leathery. Severe damage to nerve endings can result along with permanent tissue damage. Treatment can take several weeks and involve skin grafting and cosmetic surgery.

The most severe burns are fourth-degree burns. All layers of skin are destroyed, and muscle and tendons are affected as well. Skin grafting and even amputation is necessary, and a person is often left with a permanent disability.

A burn victim often has to go through complicated medical treatments that can last months and even years. They are also left with deep psychological trauma of the event. A legal professional who is skilled in personal injury can help the victim and their family obtain compensation for their injury. This compensation may be used for medical expenses, future medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

A burn injury is often very painful and traumatic for its victim. Burn treatment is often very expensive and families can be left with thousands of dollars in medical bills. Compensation may be available to help with these situations.

Source:, "Classification of burns", accessed on Nov. 19, 2017

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