Treatment for Burns
Treatment for burns is dependent upon many factors, including the extent and severity of the burn. The extent of a burn refers to how much of the body surface area is affected, while the severity of the burn generally refers to how deeply the burn extends into the tissue of the skin. Treatment for burns may include first aid given at the scene of a burn accident or extensive treatment provided in an emergency room or at a burn center. Treatment for burns may also include extensive rehabilitation for weeks or months after a severe burn injury has occurred. Victims of burns often require psychological support in addition to physical care. Financial and legal support are often needed as well.
Initial treatment for burns is aimed at cooling the burns to prevent further injury. This may be done at the scene or in hospital. Cooling a burn may be as simple as applying running water to the area, or may involve the application of burn blankets if the victim is badly burned and taken to hospital. If burns are severe enough to require care in a hospital setting, treatment of burns will focus on pain management and fluid volume replacement. Severe burns may result in electrolyte imbalance, therefore blood pressure, urine output and electrolyte levels are closely monitored. Victims who are severely burned will require intensive treatment for burns aimed at normalizing fluid volume and electrolytes and preventing infection. This is best achieved in an approved burn center, where staff is experienced in caring for victims who have been severely burned.
The psychological implications of burns can be significant; therefore, treatment of burns should include psychological care as well. Victims of burn injuries may face scarring, disfigurement and numerous surgeries. These may all take a toll on psychological well-being. Many victims of severe burns experience depression at some point in their recovery, and treatment of burns must take this into account. Counseling and support groups are two methods of psychological support that may be helpful.
The financial costs associated with severe burn injuries can be staggering, affecting not only the burn victim, but their family as well. Treatment for burns must take into account the financial burden the extensive care of burns places on victims and their loved ones. Financial counseling may be necessary, and social service workers in the hospital setting may be of great benefit to victims and their families as they navigate the confusing land of insurance, hospital and medical bills.
For those burn victims who suffer extensive and severe burns, rehabilitation may be lengthy and expensive. Some victims face multiple surgeries, the need for ongoing care and expenses for medications, creams, compression devices and other necessities. This may place additional burdens on the victim and their loved ones. In cases where severe burns occur as a result of negligence or the fault of another person, treatment for burns may necessitate obtaining legal advice. An experienced lawyer will be able to offer advice regarding liability, Workman’s Compensation benefits, and other legal issues affecting financial recompense.
As can be seen, treatment for burns involves much more than physical care. In addition to physical care, burn victims require psychological care, financial assistance, rehabilitative care and legal advice. Family members of burn victims are also affected and may also require the same assistance.