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August 11, 2011

Global View of Burned Patients

Burns are one of the most devastating and serious injuries that can happen in a person's life, not for the victim only but for the relatives as well. Depending on the severity of burns, some of them may need to be referred to the hospital for treatment such as second and third degree burns
The initial contact of the victim with the burn service starts usually with the Emergency Department, and perhaps it's the only injury that need specialist treatment by a team of medical, surgical and nursing personnel who have a specific specialization. The Emergency department may be confusing for both the patient and the relatives; on the other hand the arrival of the patient to the emergency department is one of most dramatic events in the surgical practice.

Sometimes an atmosphere of tension is created in the emergency department due to the pain and fear of the patient and his/her relatives, the magnitude of the injury and the visibility of the damage therefore it's important for the patient and the relatives to stay calm as much as they can and to interact with the medical and surgical team treating the patient as they play an important role in the healing process of their patient.

The duration that the patient needs to stay in the Emergency Department varies from one patient to another, some patients stay for a short period of time while others may need to stay for a long time (several hours) for the evaluation during which the staff will provide the patient's relatives with updates on the patient's condition. The family of the patient should not hesitate or feel intimidated to ask any question they have regarding their patient as for some of them this is a new experience they haven't gone through before.

Following the evaluation and depending on the patient's condition, some patients are discharged home while others are admitted to the hospital or transferred to a specialized burn center for further treatment.

The criteria for transferring a patient to a burn center may include:

  • Burns involving the face, eyes, hands, feet, genitalia, perineum or major joints.
  • Third degree burns regardless size of burn and age of the patient.
  • Partial thickness burn 5-10% total body surface area.
  • Chemical burns.
  • Electrical burns including lightning injury.
  • Patients with burns who suffer inhalation injury.
  • Patients with preexisting medical condition that can complicate the burn injury and prolong the recovery process.
  • Burns in children in whom the hospital is without qualified equipment or personal to care for the child.
Family members are encouraged to ask questions and seek explanations regarding the condition of their loved ones. Family members are also encouraged to take care of themselves by getting enough nutrition and rest besides leaving the hospital when possible. The team caring for the patient gives frequent reports to immediate family members regarding the condition of the patient.

The burn is not a superficial and localized injury affecting only the skin; it's systemic and affects most systems in the body therefore there are 2 teams involved in the treatment of burned patient. The Surgical and the medical teams. The surgical team is responsible for caring of the burn injury in all its aspects. The medical team is responsible for the general condition of the patient not only the burn. Victims of burn injuries may be eligible to receive legal compensation for their pain, suffering, medical bills, and physical damage.

Kramer and Pollack, LLP: are VERY well versed in all aspects of representing burn injury victims. They have handled a multitude of burn injury cases ranging from hot water scald burns, to stove tipping cases to explosion cases. They are competent, experienced and very thorough. Your initial consultation is always free, and you won't need to pay any attorney fees until they help you win monetary compensation.

One of the cases they handled involves an infant who was burned as the result of domestic hot water that measured 158 degrees Fahrenheit. She suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over 20% of her body. She was hospitalized for one month. Debridement and skin grafting was done. She developed an infection and she passed away. A case was brought against the landlord for the excessively high water temperature and the medical professionals who failed to diagnose and treat the infection that caused her untimely death.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.