BURNED IN ACCIDENT – PERSONAL INJURY LAWYERS
Being burned with hot water or other liquid is one of the most common accidents that injure a child. Minor burns can often be treated safely at home, yet in certain circumstances, medical attention is necessary. Although burning hot liquids are the most common cause of burn to a child, other ways in which a child is burned include contact with a flame or hot object, sun exposure, contact with chemicals such as drain cleaner, electrical burns from sticking fingers or objects into electrical outlets or chewing on electrical cord. Our Minnesota Personal Injury attorneys have represented many people who have been burned in an accident or because of a defective product. Sadly, our top lawyers see many child burn injury cases, but we also see adult cases, often from a work injury, as well.
A lawyer from our office recently came across this article in Medical New Today that discusses types of burn injury cases. Here is an excerpt from that well written article:
Cause-specific treatment for burns
Some burns can require immediate action dependent on the source of the burn. Electrical and chemical burns have the potential to be serious.
Burns caused by chemical sources should be flushed with running water.
For burns that are caused by a flame, immediately extinguish the flame. Many readers will remember the safety sequence “Stop, Drop and Roll.” Have your child stop what they are doing immediately, drop to the ground and roll. They should then be covered with a blanket or jacket and the burned clothing and jewelry removed. Call immediately for emergency assistance and follow the instructions below for a second- or third-degree burn.
When the cause of the burn is electrical or chemical, other actions are required. It is important to be sure that if the child’s burn was inflicted by an electrical source, the child is no longer in contact with the source to lower the risk of someone else receiving a shock.
If the burn was caused by a chemical source, it is important to flush the affected area for 5 minutes with running water in a sink, tub, shower, bucket or with a garden hose. It is important that you leave the child’s clothing in place until you begin flushing the area.
For small chemical burns, it is recommended that flushing continues for 10-20 minutes before a sterile bandage or gauze is applied and a health care provider is called. If the chemical burn affects the mouth or eyes, flush thoroughly and seek immediate medical care.
In the US, poison control (800) 222-1222 should be called, followed by the emergency department, if a child ingests a chemical or potentially harmful object.
Types of burns and treatment
Not all burns are the same, and below are outlines of the three types of burn and their treatment.
A first-degree burn affects only the outermost layer of the skin and produces symptoms such as redness, pain and mild swelling. This type of burn does not produce blisters and is dry. Symptoms often resolve quickly within 3-6 days, and one may notice some skin peeling within the first 1-2 days of the incident. Pain from a first-degree burn typically resolves quickly, lasting approximately 24-48 hours. Treatment of a burn varies based on its location and cause, as well as the child’s age, their tolerance of treatment and personal preference. These burns are typically treated with a cold compress (not ice) or cool water over the burn for 3-5 minutes, lotions and topical creams such as aloe vera. Pain medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can also be used as directed. Although not required, the area can be covered with an adhesive bandage or gauze for 24 hours if it is less than the size of a quarter. However, the use of bandages in young children is not recommended due to the risk of choking. To avoid worsening the burn or causing infection, do not use butter, grease, powder or any treatments other than the above methods. Speak with your child’s doctor if you have concerns or for an evaluation if the burn is not healing as expected.
A second degree burn, also known as partial thickness burn, is more extensive than first degree burns as is effects both the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis) and a portion of the layer beneath (the dermis).
Second-degree burns necessitate immediate medical attention and treatment.
A second degree burn produces blisters, severe pain, redness and swelling. The blisters open, giving the burn a pinkish-red and wet appearance. Second-degree burns may also exhibit an irregular white or discolored appearance. Because these burns are more extensive than first-degree burns, the time for symptom resolution and healing varies and can be upward of 3 weeks. As with other burn types, treatments vary based on the cause, location and extent of the burn, as well as the child’s age, health and medical history, tolerance for treatment and personal preference. Second-degree burns do require immediate medical attention and treatment, however. The child should remain in a lying position with the affected area elevated. Jewelry and clothing near the burn should be removed, blisters should be kept intact and the area should be kept in cool water for 3-5 minutes. After applying cool water, cover the area with a clean and dry cloth. As with a first-degree burn, to avoid worsening the burn or causing infection, do not use butter, grease, powder or any other treatments other than the treatments discussed in the section on first-degree burns. Medical interventions may include antibiotic ointments, antibiotic medication, dressing changes and cleaning.
A third-degree burn, also known as full thickness burn, affects the outer epidermis and the entire dermis under the top layer of the skin. While symptoms of a full thickness burn vary, they commonly exhibit skin that appears dry, leathery, black, white, brown or yellow, alongside the presence of swelling and lack of pain due to injury-related nerve damage. These burns require immediate medical attention and possible burn center evaluation as they will not heal well without treatment. With a third degree burn, new skin will not regenerate due to the extent of skin and hair follicle damage. Patients will instead require a skin graft. The child should remain in a lying position with the affected area elevated. Jewelry and clothing near the burn should be removed, blisters should be kept intact and the area should be kept in cool water for 3-5 minutes. After applying cool water, cover the area with a clean and dry cloth. As with a first-degree burn, to avoid worsening the burn or causing infection, do not use butter, grease, powder or any other treatments other than the treatments discussed in the section on first-degree burns. As with other burn types, treatments vary based on the cause, location and extent of the burn, as well as the child’s age, health and medical history, tolerance for treatment and personal preference. Treatment may include the cleaning or debriding of the affected area, intravenous (IV) fluids, antibiotics (oral or IV), topical antibiotic creams, nutritional supplements, increased dietary protein, skin grafting, possible reconstructive surgery, administering a tetanus shot and remaining in a warm and humid environment.
When to call a doctor or seek medical attention
Immediate medical attention is required when:
- There is a likely second- or third-degree burn
- Burns are larger than 2-3 inches or cover more than 10% of the body. In these cases, it is not recommended to use wet compresses or ice as these will increase the risk of hypothermia. Instead, use clean, soft cloths or towels to cover the burned area
- Fire, electricity or chemicals were the cause of the burn
- The burn involves the face, scalp, hands, joint surfaces or genitals
- There is the presence of swelling, pus, worsening redness or red streaking of the affected area.
ATTORNEYS FOR BURN ACCIDENT INJURY COMPENSATION
If you or your child have sustained a burn injury in a Minnesota accident or because of a defective product, please call our office and speak with a best lawyer for a free consultation. Pam Rochlin and David Rochlin are experienced (25 years) personal injury attorneys getting complete and fair compensation for hundreds of people injured in accidents. If you have been burned in an accident, our attorneys will make sure your medical bills are paid, lost wages are recovered, and you are fairly compensated for pain and suffering and scarring. Pam was previously a partner at Meshbesher & Spence, and offers personal attention to her clients. Pam was the 2015 President of Minnesota Women Lawyers, and organization with more than 1300 members. Pam and David are married, and we treat our clients like members of our own family. You can meet a top burn injury lawyer at our offices in Minneapolis, St. Louis Park, Edina, or Woodbury. An attorney will also meet you at your home to discuss your case if you have been burned in an accident in St. Paul MN, Roseville, Forest Lake, Brooklyn Park, Brooklyn Center, White Beak Lake, Apple Valley, Lakeville, Burnsville, Chanhassen, Chaska, Albert Lea, Mankato, and other cities throughout Minnesota. The consultation is free and we will answer your questions, and we never charge anything unless you are compensated for your injury.