Burn Injury Complications
Injuries happen all the time. When they do, they typically heal up, and that’s it. This is typically not the case with burn injuries. While first-degree burns, like sunburns, do go away quickly and don’t often lead to complications, more severe burns do. A second-, third-, or fourth-degree burn can cause scarring, nerve damage, disfigurement, and many other severe complications that can be long-term or even lifelong.
A burn injury complication can be acute, chronic, local, or systemic. These complications can cause long-term morbidity, which can affect one’s lifespan significantly. Here is a look at common complications of burn injuries.
Burn Wound Infection
Burn wound infection is a common cause of morbidity. Significant thermal injuries, such as contact with hot metals, steam, flames, and scalding liquids, can cause a suppressed immune system. This predisposes burn patients to infections, Burn patients are also at risk for developing sepsis, pneumonia, catheter-related infections, and vein thrombosis.
Systemic complications are caused by inflammation that the body produces in response to the burn injury. This inflammation can cause complications such as a suppressed immune system, infection, sepsis, tissue damage, and multiple organ failure. Systemic complications are more likely to manifest in patients with burns that cover more than 25% of their total body surface area.
Burn shock is common in burns that involve 30% of the total body surface area. It is a medical emergency that occurs when the body’s tissues and organs are deprived of oxygenated blood. The heart does not pump as much blood and as a result, which means there is less blood flow and therefore less blood circulating throughout the body. The body also releases histamines, prostaglandins, and cytokines, causing fluid loss.
Fires produce smoke, which can lead to smoke inhalation and subsequent respiratory complications. This can lead to blood circulation issues and obstruction of the airways. The victim is also at high risk of developing a bacterial infection or pneumonia.
A burn can also cause orthopedic complications. These may include soft tissue injuries, depending on the severity and depth of the burn. Fractures and joint dislocations can also occur if the victim fell after suffering from a burn or electrical shock. Fractures can cause complications such as infections, delayed union, nonunion, stiffness, and scar formation.
Joint contracture is also a possibility. This occurs when muscles, tendons, ligaments are shortened due to an injury or medical condition. Burns can also cause compartment syndrome, which refers to an increase in pressure inside a muscle. This can cause pain and restrict blood flow.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney Today
Burns are serious injuries that can lead to long-term complications. These complications can even be deadly if not treated in time.
A Tampa burn injury attorney from Moore Law can help you with your case. We understand that burns can cause long-term complications and help you get full and fair compensation. To schedule a free consultation, fill out the online form or call 813-510-5400.