Although they are less common than other car accident injuries, burns are among the most serious. Victims experience extreme pain and risk suffering permanent disfigurement, life-threatening infections, and mobility loss. If you or someone you hold dear was burned in a traffic accident, please know that there are effective treatment options, although the road to recovery tends to be long and arduous.
Sources of burns from car accidents
The most common cause of an auto accident burn injury is fire resulting from a crashed vehicle’s fuel tank exploding. This can occur because of the impact itself or due to a faultily constructed gas tank. There’s also the possibility of suffering chemical or abrasive burns from your airbags. These might result from the sodium hydroxide created by the chemicals used to rapidly inflate an airbag upon deployment or from friction when the bags slam into you.
Whatever the source of your burn injuries receiving immediate first aid can mitigate the long-term damage. Accept treatment from emergency medical personnel at the scene and go to the emergency room if directed to have your wounds assessed.
Possible treatments for burn wounds
If you have multiple burns or an injury that affects a large area of your body, you might be transferred to a center that specializes in treating burn victims. these facilities can also provide you with the follow-up care required to control pain, prevent infection, and regain as much function as possible. Most will also provide counselors as you struggle through this difficult process.
When you’ve suffered burns, the risk for intrusion by bacteria and other dangerous infectors is high. After your wounds have been thoroughly cleaned, you will likely have topical creams and ointments applied to prevent infection and stimulate healing. Then medical staff will apply gauze or bandages to further protect your damaged skin. Additionally, expect to receive a tetanus shot and antibiotics to further combat infection. Depending on the extent of your burns, you might be put on intravenous fluids to stave off dehydration, which commonly afflicts burn victims and can lead to organ damage.
Traditional treatment for severe burns involves skin grafts, or the transfer of healthy skin from another part of the body to replace the damaged tissue. This healthy skin may come from a part of your own body that is usually concealed by clothing, donated by a deceased individual, or in some cases taken from an animal (usually a pig).
You might need plastic surgery to reduce the visibility of your burns, reopen your airways (mouth or nose), or improve range of motion by removing heavily scarred tissue from joints. If your joints were affected, then additional physical therapy can also help you recover mobility.
Your car accident attorney in Los Angeles
While life might never return to exactly what it was before you suffered a burn injury, medical interventions can improve your health and ability to enjoy life. Make sure you can afford the best available burn treatments by contacting Los Angeles auto accident lawyer Scott J. Corwin at 800-946-9440.