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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger II

The Six Most Common Causes of Burn Injuries in Ohio

Tens of thousands of Americans are hospitalized every year with burn injuries- ranging in severity and causation. There are several types of burns- each one caused by something different. Understanding the common causes of injury in burn patients can help with burn prevention- and navigating a claim.

What Is a Burn Injury?

What Is a Burn Injury?

A burn is tissue damage caused when skin comes into contact with excessive heat or other harmful elements such as the sun, electricity, or chemicals. Burn severity ranges from very minor to fatal.

  • First degree burns

First-degree burns are the least traumatic to the tissue and cells. These minor burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. They don't usually require professional medical care. 

  • Second degree burns

Second-degree burns (also called partial thickness burns) are the most common type of burn injuries and can range from mild to moderate burn wounds. These burns damage both the epidermis and the second layer of skin. Most second-degree burns can be treated at home with careful cleaning and protection. It is best to call a doctor if the burn covers more than three inches, restricts movement, or looks infected.

  • Third degree burns

Third-degree burns (full-thickness burns) require medical attention and treatment. Classed as a major burn, a third-degree injury penetrates all skin layers and the layer of fat below the skin called the hypodermis. It can also damage nerves, hair follicles, and sweat glands.

  • Fourth degree burns

A fourth-degree (also considered full-thickness) burn damages muscles and tendons. This severe burn level almost always leads to loss of function in the affected area. Rarer than third-degree burns, fourth-degree burn injuries are generally caused by flames or chemicals. They usually require long periods of rehabilitation.

  • Fifth degree burns

Fifth-degree burn injuries go all the way to the bone- destroying skin, fat, and muscle on the way. These deep burns almost always require skin grafts and extensive recovery. In many cases, fifth-degree burns end in amputation or death.

  • Sixth degree burns

A sixth-degree burn also damages bones. In many cases, there is damage to the total body surface area. These injuries are very rare but are almost guaranteed to be fatal.

Top Six Burn Injury Causes

1: Flame Burns

Open flames are the first thing most people associate with burn injuries. House fires and other major incidents can lead to injuries of the rarer, higher burn degrees. Cooking accidents (including open-fire cooking) and incidents involving fireplaces are far more common- but can still easily cause third or fourth-degree burns.

Fire burn injuries are accompanied by other problems- predominantly due to smoke inhalation. A smoke inhalation injury can cause scarring of the lungs and put immense pressure on the heart- often leading to organ failure.

2: Scalding

Scalds are burn injuries caused by contact with hot liquids rather than dry heat. Excessively hot running tap water, spilled hot drinks, and knocked-over boiling cooking pots are some of the most common causes of scalding. Hot oil is also a serious danger and can result in fourth or fifth-degree burns.

3: Touching Hot Objects

Another common reason people suffer burns is because they touch hot objects. It is easy to end up with burned skin when cooking or working near hot surfaces. Depending on how long the skin stays in contact with the hot object, the severity could range from first to fifth- even sixth if a body part is trapped against the hot area.

4: Electrical Burns

Thermal burns (burns caused by exposure to heat sources) are not the only danger. Electrical burns are usually caused by faulty electrical cords, exposed sockets, and cut wires. In much rarer cases, electrical burns result from lightning, being tazed, or stun guns.

On the surface, electrical burn symptoms look like other burns- but internal burns are the main problem. Electrical contact can burn nerve endings, the internal nervous system, and organs.

5: Chemical Burns

Chemical burns are extremely dangerous and can often have life-threatening or life-altering consequences. Cleaning products, pesticides, and other toxic or acidic chemicals can burn tissue, blood vessels, and muscles with ease. They can also cause vision problems if they come into contact with eyes- or internal damage if ingested. Ingestion burns can also spike blood pressure.

Most burns categorized as fifth-degree (excluding victims of serious building fires) are chemical burns. Burn symptoms vary depending on the type of chemical involved.

6: Sunburns

Sunburn is very common, but it is usually not serious. Thanks to harmful rays, sunlight can penetrate and kill the first three layers of skin. Even first-degree burns from the sun cause minor skin damage, but it is easily treatable at home. Second-degree sunburn is fairly common amongst those who don't wear proper sun protection outdoors for long hours. Third-degree sunburns are also possible- but far less common.

Where Do Most Burn Accidents Occur?

According to the American Burn Association and general burn statistics, around 75% of all burn injuries happen at home. Severe burns are more likely in homes without effective prevention strategies, such as smoke detectors.

Women and children are most likely to be burned or scalded in their own kitchens. Men who work in the labor, factory, or construction industries are statistically more likely to be burned in the workplace.

Hands, feet, arms, legs, and face are the parts of the body most commonly injured in burn accidents.

Claiming Compensation after Severe Burns

Claiming Compensation after Severe Burns

Anyone who suffers a burn injury in the workplace or someone else's property that was not their fault may be eligible to claim compensation. Burns caused at home due to faulty equipment or the negligence of another may also be cause for a legal case. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys also have insight to questions like can I hire a personal injury lawyer from another state?

Burn care and recovery can be a lengthy, painful, and expensive process- especially for those with severe burns. A settlement can help cover medical costs and lost wages- and compensate the victim for the lasting impact their injuries will have on their life. The personal injury attorneys in Toledo OH can help victims navigate the process.

Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys Go to War for Tol Burn Victims

If you or a loved one has suffered a severe burn injury that was not their fault, Schuerger Schunnarah Trial Attorneys can help. As leading personal injury lawyers in Toledo, Ohio, they have the experience, knowledge, dedication, and compassion to fight for the best solution for every victim. Arrange a free consultation today.


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