The Dangers of Burn Injuries
Burns are one of the most painful kinds of injury a person can endure. Every year there are millions of people who suffer from burns and very often someone else is responsible or partially responsible. While many burns are not particularly serious others can leave permanent disfiguring scars and on-going emotional trauma.
Burns can occur almost anywhere and in a variety of ways. Fires and explosions, electrical burns and inhalation burns are all possibilities. Inhalation burns from chemicals such as carbon monoxide, ammonia and hydrogen sulfide are more common than many people realize and they can be life-threatening. Fires can be caused in all kinds of ways, from defective products to arson. Explosions happen for a number of reasons and often involve either defective products or human error and negligence. Fires and explosions can happen at workplaces, in car accidents, on boats, trains, planes and buses, and of course in homes.
Treatment for all kinds of burns can be both lengthy and painful. Often numerous skin grafts are needed and there is always the risk of infection and other complications. One of these is hypovolemia where blood volume drops dramatically and can cause kidney failure. Hypovolemia is a risk factor when more than 20% of the body is burnt and is especially common in thermal and electrical burn cases.
You can minimize the risk of fire and burns in your home by making sure smoke alarms are installed and checked regularly (daylight saving change over is a good time). Keep fire extinguishers ready at all times. Make sure electrical equipment and heating sources are maintained and checked regularly. Have an escape plan ready for your family just in case.
If you notice any possible fire or burn hazards in your workplace report them to whoever is in charge of health and safety. Understand the emergency plans that are in place and take them seriously.
If you should be involved in a car or train accident, if at all possible move away from the vehicles as quickly as you can and help others to move away too. Any vehicle involved in a crash is a potential fire danger.
Knowing what to do if you or another person is on fire or suffers a burn can minimize injury and possibly save a life. If you catch alight or someone else does follow the stop, drop and roll routine. Fire feeds on oxygen to burn and running only fuels the flames. Rolling on the ground can help stamp out and smother the flames. Using a blanket is another way you can help someone else who is on fire. The immediate treatment for any skin burn is cold water.
If someone is being electrocuted never try to pull them away from the source with your bare hands as this will result in you being electrocuted too. If you can switch off the power source do so, or use a wooden broom handle to push them away.
For all major burns, whatever the cause, dial emergency services immediately. If you or someone you care for has suffered a burn injury that may be due to someone else’s negligence it is well worth while contacting a personal injury lawyer.
This article should not be misconstrued as legal advice.
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When not enjoying his time in the sun, Frank enjoys roller-blades and sipping ice tea in his back yard. To learn more, please visit Frank’s Long Island website.