Burn treatments, like many other areas of medical care, have undergone some technological improvements over recent years. While none of us really want to contemplate burns and burn injuries, the treatments are worth reading about. They range from sprayed-on human skin to topical treatments to fish skin used as a bandage.
Burn Statistics and Facts
Burns usually occur at home and in the workplace. At home, the culprit will likely be a cooking accident or a heating source; at work, it could be anything from scalding (by water or steam) to caustic chemicals to an electrical source. Almost half a million folks seek burn treatment in hospitals and ERs every year—the actual number is around 450,000—and that figure does not include those who go to health clinics and doctors’ offices. The reasons for burns are fires or flames 43 percent of the time, and scalding agents 34 percent of the time.
Burn “degrees” classify severity, with first being the least severe (a reddening of the skin and limited to the outermost layer, or epidermis) to fourth, the most severe (affecting bone). Second-degree burns, the ones that blister, can penetrate into the dermis and require specialized treatment to prevent scarring and permanent discoloration.
The Latest in Burn Treatments
Here are the latest therapies to help victims with severe burns:
- While Heparin is a known blood thinner, it can be used effectively for burns. In combination with other treatments, it relieves pain, shortens healing time, and helps prevent significant scarring. Partial-thickness burns, which involve severe blistering, are extremely painful and often helped by Heparin.
- Skin substitutes. Artificial skin, also known as cultured skin substitute (CSS), can be a patient’s own skin combined with a substitute called Integra. The Integra Dermal Regeneration Template, which heals both the underlying dermis as well as the outer epidermis, is especially useful for deep hand burns. One study demonstrated that all (100 percent) of skin grafts done using Integra were successful.
- The SkinGun and ReCell. Both of these treatments, which are similar but not identical, involve removing healthy skin from the patient in small amounts, aerosolizing it, and then spraying it onto the burn wound site as an alternative to traditional skin grafts. (The SkinGun process, from RenovaCare, sometimes employs lab-grown tissues or those harvested from a cadaver.) These treatments quicken healing as well as minimize scarring and discoloration.
- Full-thickness skin grafts for the face. Face burns, like burns to the hand, are challenging to treat and heal. A long-term study that followed some patients for up to 20 years studied the use of what is known as a full-thickness skin graft on their faces. The study seems to indicate that these kinds of grafts may produce the best results when it comes to facial burns.
- Would you believe—fish skin? A story published in December, 2016, reported that Brazilian doctors have employed skin from a Tilapia fish to reduce the pain and suffering of burn victims. They successfully used the fish skin as an unusual bandage for the wounds.
Injuries resulting from burns, either in the workplace or at home, can be caused by the negligence of another individual, or by a third-party company or entity. In such cases, it is often wise to seek legal assistance.
Burn Injury? Get help from The Injury Lawyer.
When you have suffered a serious burn, either in the workplace or from a personal injury situation, you may be entitled to damages. Burns can leave you in pain and with long-term consequences such as scarring, physical dysfunction, and the inability to work. The clock begins ticking the moment you are hurt, and the amount of time you have to file a claim is limited, so you should not delay.
Don’t take a chance with your family’s financial security. If you’ve experienced injury due to a serious burn, contact a Baltimore burn injury attorney at the Law Offices of Steven H. Heisler today. Committed to representing personal injury victims, Steve has what it takes to get compensation for your burn injury. Call (410) 625-4878 for a free consultation, or use our online contact form.