Burn injuries are excruciating and can leave both physical and psychological scars. Medical and financial recovery can be difficult. Whether an accidental burn while attending a gathering or bonfire, a burn caused by an unsafe product, or from a hazard on the inadequately kept property, it may be in your best interest to speak with an experienced Louisiana burn injury attorney.
Burns are classified by both the penetration through the skin and the severity. Depending on the severity, burns are measured as first, second, third, or fourth-degree burns. Typically, a first-degree burn is not dangerous, while a second, third, or fourth-degree burn patient should seek medical attention immediately. Different forms of treatment may be required for different burns.
Symptoms of Burn Classification
Understanding the symptoms of the various degrees of burns can be useful when deciding the best treatment for the burn. Providing some method of treatment immediately following a burn can help prevent pain, scarring, and deformities. However, a treatment that can be useful for one degree may be harmful to another.
First Degree Burn Classification
A first-degree burn is also known as a superficial burn. The epidermis, or outer layer, of skin, is only affected by a first-degree burn. The burn area is painful and red, and possibly swelling may occur, but blisters will not be evident.
Second Degree Burn Classification
A second-degree burn is also known as a partial thickness burn. The second layer of skin, or the dermis, is involved with this burn. As with first degree burns, the burn area will be painful and red, but often the skin will blister as well. After receiving the burn, blistering may begin immediately or it may take time.
Third Degree Burn Classification
Third-degree burns are also known as full thickness burn. This type of burn goes through the epidermis and dermis to the fat or adipose tissue below. The area of a third-degree burn may be numb due to the possible destruction of nerves. The feel and appearance of the skin with a third-degree burn may be altered, and might appear to be tan or white and will be tough or leathery in some cases.
Fourth Degree Burn Classification
The most severe type of burn is a fourth-degree burn. The fourth-degree burn goes through both the skin and tissue, and bones and muscles are affected as well. The skin might be blackened or charred or burned away completely. With this type of burn nerve damage often occurs, resulting in the patient not feeling pain.
Burn Treatment Based on Classification
It may be complex determining some burns classification, especially so for ones that are large, as the severity may differ in various locations. In this case, treat the burn according to the highest visible degree. For burns that appear to be second degree or higher, medical treatment should be sent.
Steps should be taken for patients who may be in danger of shock, such as laying them down in a way that burn areas are not at risk. Prevent infection by bandaging the area, but be careful not to tear or damage the skin. Avoid applying ice, ointments, or blowing on the burn area due to the possibility of tearing the skin.
If you or someone you care about is a burn injury victim, learn your legal rights by contacting an experienced New Orleans burn injury lawyer.