Fires and other sources of burns cause fatalities in Indiana and across the country each year. In fact, according to the American Burn Association, a U.S. resident has a one in 1,442 chance of fatality from fire exposure, whether that be from the heat, flames or smoke.

Here is more information about traumatic burn injuries, per the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center.

  1. Sources

In addition to heat, flames and smoke, there are a number of burn injury sources:

  • Hot liquids or steam can cause a scald burn
  • The heat of an explosion can cause a flash burn
  • Electricity can pass through the body, heat the skin and tissues beneath it, and cause an electrical burn
  • Acids and alkalis can cause chemical burns
  1. Severity factors

Medical professionals measure burn injuries by degree and depth, as well as the percentage of the person’s skin that has burned. The severity of the injury may be increased by where it is on the body, whether the person has inhaled smoke or toxic fumes, other health conditions already present and any traumatic injuries such as broken bones that also occurred in the accident.

  1. Pain

The recovery process typically involves pain that may not seem to correspond to how serious the injury actually is. Even a first-degree burn that only affects the outer layer of skin can cause significant pain. Second-degree burns are particularly sensitive to air movement or temperature changes. Third-degree burns present deep pressure and pain.

  1. Treatments

Treatment often includes grafts to replace the destroyed skin. These may be permanent, or they may be temporary to cover the wound while it heals. Because burn injuries often cause post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, many people require psychiatric treatment. Physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology are also frequently necessary after severe burns.