Complications of a burn injury

Burn injuries are always painful and usually debilitating — but the consequence of a burn can continue long past the initial injury. The damage from the complications of a burn injury is often the true cause of disability and death.

If your loved one has suffered a burn injury in an accident, here are some of the multisystemic problems victims may face after a burn:

Bacterial infections

The skin is the body’s first barrier against infection. When the skin suffers trauma, that barrier is weakened or eliminated. When an infection reaches the bloodstream and becomes sepsis, it can be fatal.

Breathing problems

A burn victim may inhale hot air, chemical fumes or smoke that permanently damages their lungs. Even once they recover, they may never again be able to breathe properly without supplemental oxygen.

Fluid and temperature problems

Because of the trauma, the victim may experience hypothermia, which is a dangerously low body temperature. They may also suffer from hypovolemia, or low blood volume, due to the fluid loss.

Bone and joint problems

The scar tissue that comes from burn injuries isn’t just distressing because of its appearance — it can also limit a victim’s ability to move properly. Scar tissue can cause the skin around a victim’s joints and tendons to tighten or shrink — making it very difficult to use their hands, walk, talk or do similar things.

Psychological damage

Depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety over their post-burn appearance can afflict tremendous emotional damage on a burn victim long after they’ve otherwise recovered.

If your loved one suffered burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence, it’s wise to find out what compensation you may be due to help pay for medical care, therapy and lost wages.