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What is the worst kind of burn injury?

Burn injuries can be some of the most devastating injuries to suffer in a California accident because of the pain, difficulty healing, disfigurement and risk of fatal infections that can result from them. The worse a burn injury is, the higher likelihood of death, disfigurement and infection. The recovery process is slow, grueling, and those who live through such an experience deserve our respect and admiration.

As most people are aware, burn injuries are classified into three different categories: first degree burns, second degree burns, third degree burns and fourth degree burns. Among these, third degree burns are the absolute worst.

People who have suffered a third and fourth degree burn have had all the layers of their skin destroyed in some area of their body. The burn goes deep into the subcutaneous tissues. The affected areas will often have a black or white appearance and they will be dry. They might also have a leathery feel or texture.

The other indicator of a third or fourth degree burn is that when pressure is applied the area does not turn white or “blanch.” Perhaps the one saving grace is that there is no pain associated with these deep burn injuries, but this is not actually a good thing. There is no pain because the tissue has been all but destroyed. The determining factor, when it comes to fourth degree burns is that the burn extends even deeper into the victim’s muscles and bones.

Obviously, medical care and costs associated with a third and fourth degree burn are higher than those associated with a first and second degree burn. Therefore, it is important to note this distinction in any civil claims for damages following such an accident.

Source: University of New Mexico Hospitals, “Burn classification,” accessed June 17, 2015

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