Medical Malpractice for Burn Treatment
According to national statistics, there are more than two million victims of burn injuries in this country each year. Approximately 40 percent of these victims suffer significant or permanent disabilities because of the burn injury. Medical treatment is often extensive and painful. Not only do burn victims suffer through excruciating pain, but there is also often the psychological and emotional pain victims struggle through. Tragically, there are burn victims who not only have to deal with their injuries, but also become victim to medical professionals who – through negligence – fail to provide the quality of care and treatment required, resulting in even more extensive injury. If you or a loved one has been a victim of medical malpractice for burn treatment in Utah, contact Rasmussen & Miner for help.
Types of Burns
While most people think of fire as the cause of burn injuries, there are actually several different types of burns a victim can suffer:
- Chemical burns: Acids, detergents, and other solvents can result in chemical burns.
- Cold burns: These types of burns are also referred to as frostbite and are caused by exposure to extreme cold.
- Electrical burns: Whenever a person comes into contact with an electric current, they face a high risk of suffering an electrical burn.
- Friction burn: When a hard object rubs against the victim’s skin, causing abrasion and burn. These are common in victims of motorcycle and bicycle accidents.
- Radiation burns: One of the most common causes of radiation burn is the sun, however, victims can suffer radiation burns from radiation therapy and diagnostic machinery such as X-rays machine.
- Thermal burns: Thermal burns occur when a hot object causes the temperature of the victim’s skin to rise so high that skin cells die off. Thermal burns can be caused by flames, hot metals, scalding liquids, and steam.
There are four classifications of burns, depending on the amount of damage to the victim’s skin:
- First-degree burn: This degree of burn only affects the outer layer of the victim’s skin, which is often red and painful. Long-term damage is very rare.
- Second-degree burn: In this degree of burn, both the outer layer of the victim’s skin and the layer underneath, referred to as the dermis, has damage. The skin will be swollen and very red and often looks wet and shiny. The skin develops blisters and the burn area itself will be painful if touched.
- Third-degree burns: This degree of burn destroys the first two layers of skin. Skin looks brown, black, white, or yellow. If the area is touched, the victim does not feel pain because the nerve endings have been damaged.
- Fourth-degree burn: These burns destroys all layers of the skin and often reaches the victim’s muscles, tendons, and bones. Fourth-degree burns can be fatal.
In addition to the burn itself, the victim is often at high risk of infection and issues with joints and bones. This is why it is critical to obtain the right medical attention in order to prevent any life-threatening complications. If medical professionals improperly treat the victim’s burn injuries, this can be legally deemed medical malpractice for burn treatment.
When it comes to burn treatment, there are many variations and risks of treatment that need to be understood by healthcare providers. Mistakes can lead to serious consequences and even death. As a burn patient, the last thing you need when it comes to burn treatment is to receive a level of care that is substandard, increasing your pain and reducing your quality of life. Let’s take a look at the different types of burns and treatments, and how neglect or medical malpractice may occur.
Causes and Treatment of Burns
Burns can be very serious, especially when they are caused by a house fire, a kitchen accident, a car accident, or a chemical. To treat such burns, it is essential that a patient receives the right ‘burn therapy,’ which both eases the pain and simultaneously reduces the damage caused to the skin and internal organs by the burns. There are many different types of treatments for burns. Basically, all burns are unique in that no two people ever get burns exactly in the same manner. Due to this, the treatment for burns is highly specialized, and each treatment plan must be customized after a close examination of both the cause and impact of the burns.
Some procedures used to reduce the effect of burns include dermabrasion and skin grafting, both of which are specialized procedures that should only be undertaken by doctors with proper skills and extensive training in burn care.
Lack of Proper Treatment for Burns
When treatments such as dermabrasion and skin grafting are carried out on a patient, they have to be done properly, using the right tools, techniques, and resources. If the standard of care falls at this time, the patient may experience serious consequences. If anything goes wrong, be it with the anesthesia, the procedure, or the equipment at the time of the procedure, the healthcare providers, as well as the institute where the treatment is being done, are liable. Burn patients run the risk of infection, increased levels of pain, reduced mobility, and other challenges that can have a permanent effect on their quality of life.
Have you or a loved one experienced medical malpractice for burn treatment that you believe may be due to negligence or medical malpractice? Contact Rasmussen and Miner today to arrange for a personalized consultation and to discuss what legal options may be open to you.