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Burn injuries: How they can affect you in the long term

When you were involved in your car accident, you didn't expect to be hurt as badly as you were. You couldn't have known that you'd be trapped inside your vehicle or that you'd suffer from burns before you could escape. They were painful at first, but you soon realized that the worst of them didn't hurt in any way at all.

Burns are significant injuries that do need medical care in many cases, especially once they reach second- or third-degree status. They can cause damaging scars, pain and disfigurement.

While you may know about the three primary burn stages, there are actually six. Fourth-degree burns go completely into the muscle and ligaments. Fifth penetrate muscle and start to burn the bones. Sixth-degree burns char the bones of the body.

In most situations, you won't hear about someone with fourth-, fifth- or sixth-degree burns, because these are so dangerous that many people don't survive, especially if the burns are extensive or involve multiple parts of the body.

Since there is a significant risk of infection with any burn that opens the skin, it's important for victims of burn accidents to seek medical care. A burn may not hurt if it's bad enough, because the nerve endings will have been destroyed.

Burn victims may end up needing many different kinds of treatments and supports. Some may include:

  • Surgery to clean the wound
  • Antibiotics
  • Pain medication
  • Skin grafts
  • Intravenous antibiotics
  • I.V. fluids to replace lost fluids from the burns
  • Physical therapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Plastic surgery

You should also remember that burns can cause psychological distress. Severe burns, in particular, can leave damaging scars. Some may restrict a person's movement or easily rip or tear. It is important that those kinds of scars are addressed by a medical professional. At the same time, the psychological impact of scarring and disfigurement can take a toll on a person. It's important that they are able to seek support for depression, anxiety or other mental health concerns that they may deal with as a result of the accident that led to these serious injuries.

Victims may be dealing with a lot after an accident leading to serious burns, but it is still important for them to have good financial support. They may have multiple surgeries or treatments planned for the future, so it's necessary to have the financial means to make those happen through an insurance claim or other methods that are discussed with an attorney.

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