In a recent blog post about an explosion that severely burned workers at a Blue Rhino propane facility, this blog discussed the symptoms of burn injuries. This follow-up post discusses the treatment of severe burn injuries.
The Blue Rhino explosion injured eight workers, including three who were taken to a regional burn facility. Medical experts say that in cases like this, the first step for treatment of burn injuries is to stabilize the patient and treat them for any other trauma they received as a result of the accident.
Next, fluids need to be replaced. Doctors say that burn victims lose many fluids. If their skin loses integrity, fluid can leak out and must be quickly replenished. Smoke inhalation may also need to be treated at this stage.
Medical professionals will also focus on preventing infection. Because skin protects against bacteria, the risk of infection increases when it is damaged by burns. Medical professionals try to close wounds quickly to reduce the risk.
The first step toward closing wounds involves removing dead skin. Surgeons then use remaining skin on a patient's body to graft the wounds closed. Using the patient's skin for grafts is preferable, but alternative ways to graft are available.
As patients are treated, they will likely be receiving a high calorie, high-protein diet. They may also be kept sedated and use breathing and feeding tubes to allow the treatments to work.
Those treatments are just the beginning. A burn patient may face years of reconstructive surgery and may also need psychological treatment for the severe trauma he or she has endured.
These treatments save lives, but they are expensive. That's a major reason why burn injury victims should discuss their legal options with an experienced personal injury attorney after an accident.
Source: Orlando Sentinal, "Blue Rhino gas-blasts victims face long recovery," Marni Jameson, July 30, 2013
- Our law firm represents people who have been burned in accidents in Los Angeles and Southern California. To learn more, visit ourburn injuriespage.