Burn injuries can range from relatively mild problems all the way up to a life-threatening emergency. The American Burn Association estimates that about 450,000 people head to the emergency room each year for burn treatment, and that about 3,400 people pass away each year due to a burn injury. The vast majority of burn deaths are due to residential fires.
Treatment for a burn injury depends on the severity. Many minor burns and scalding incidents can be treated inside the home, while more severe burns can require hospital stays at specialized burn centers so skin grafts and surgery can be carried out to try and save tissue, skin, and nerves.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
There are a variety of ways that burn injuries can occur, including
Vehicle Accidents: Car and motorcycle accidents usually contribute to a large number of burn injuries each year due to the ignition of gasoline after an accident. The U.S. Fire Administration says that about 1,275 people on a yearly basis suffer burn injuries due to a car accident.
Scalding: Burn injuries from scalding are the most common way children under four years old get hurt. Scalding often occurs after hot food or liquid is spilled, but can also happen if someone touches a stove, a hot pan, or a hot plate.
Electrocution: Exposure to electrical current can often be fatal, and it can also lead to massive flash arc or thermal contact burn injuries. Those on a worksite are at an increased risk for burns by electrocution due to the massive amount of electrical equipment around.
Chemical Accidents: Chemical burns account for about 3% of all nationwide burn injuries. They can happen in a laboratory setting if a toxic chemical is spilled, or in the home after unwanted exposure to cleaning products like bleach or pool chlorine. The ingestion or inhalation of dangerous chemicals can also lead to burning inside of the body.
Gas Explosions: The sudden explosion of an old or ill-maintained gas tank can result in massive burn injuries. A lot of the infrastructure across the United States tasked with transporting oil and gas were built many decades ago and can pose a significant safety risk. Gas explosions can also occur in the home if there is a problem with a propane tank for a grill or a home water heater.
Building Fires: A fire that breaks out in a residential or commercial structure can result in burn injuries for those trapped inside, especially if firefighters are having trouble putting out the flames and maneuvering their equipment. People often suffer burn injuries in trying to escape a burning building, especially if they have to jump out through a window or make their way down a burning stairwell to get out of the structure.
Defective Products: Defective products contribute to many burn injuries each year after flaws in the item cause them to spontaneously combust or overheat. These products could include items like space heaters and tea kettles.
If you have suffered severe burn injuries and need to speak with a personal injury attorney about your rights, schedule a consult with a Texas personal injury lawyer today.