Burn injuries can be easily underestimated. When people receive cuts or other open wounds, their bodies do a good job of healing themselves. Burns, however, are different. Even burns that seem minor can require significant treatment.
In one recent case, a California fire chief was inspired to write about burn injuries after seeing colleagues burned while fighting fires. While fighting a house fire, the firefighter received second-degree burns when radiant heat soaked through his protective gear.
The firefighter was treated at the emergency room and released. Unexpectedly, he later had to spend four days in a burn unit to receive further treatment for his injuries.
It seems obvious that firefighters would be at risk for burn injuries, but burns can and do happen to people of all ages. According to the American Burn Association, about 450,000 people are treated for burn injuries every year. About 40,000 people are hospitalized, and about 3,400 people die from burn injuries annually.
Of the deaths associated with burns, about 2,550 occurred in house fires, 300 were from motor vehicle accident fires, and 550 were from other sources.
After visiting the firefighter in the hospital, the fire chief asked people to be careful of burns. If people are burned, he recommends the following precautions:
- Remove clothing from the affected area
- Use water to cool the area, and do not apply ointments or butter to the burn
- Seek a medical evaluation
- Do not hesitate to call 911 if needed
Source: Sources: American Burn Association; The Daily Californian, “DOUG GREENER: Never underestimate a burn injury,” Doug Greener, Apr. 21 2013
- Our law firm handles serious burn injuries from car accidents, electrical accidents and other accidents in the Los Angeles area. For more information, visit our burn injuries page.