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How are burn injuries classified?

Over the years, we've helped several clients that have suffered from horrific burns - either in their homes, their apartments or at work. The American Burn Association estimates approximately 486,000 people a year sustain burn injuries that require medical treatment. And each year, 40,000 people require hospitalization due to a variety of burn injuries - 30,000 of which are admitted to burn centers.

In Georgia, we have two highly acclaimed burn treatment centers right here in Georgia:

(1)        Grady Burn Center in Atlanta.

This facility is staffed by Emory Surgeons and Grady nurses. It is one of the largest in the country and the only burn center in Georgia backed by a level one trauma center.

(2)        J.M. Still Burn Center in Augusta.

This facility has 70 beds and admits more than 3,000 patients annually throughout the Southeast.

Burns are often classified, depending upon how deep the burn penetrates the skin, as well as by the percentage of the body burned.

  • First Degree burns:

These are superficial type burns.  They affect only the top layer of skin - the epidermis. The injured area is red, painful and dry, but without any blistering.

  • Second Degree burns:

These can range in severity, not only affecting the superficial layer - the epidermis, but also penetrating to the dermis.  The injured area is moist, painful, and blisters will form.  These burns may require skin grafts.

  • Third Degree burns:

These are considered "full thickness" burns.  The burn destroys the two top layers of skin.  It may also cause damage to the underlying nerves, bones, ligaments, and muscles.  The burned area will dry to a stiff, white and brown texture.  These burns typically require skin grafts and long-term rehabilitative care.  It is necessary for the doctors to excise - or cut - the burned areas and scarring will certainly result.

  • Fourth Degree burns:

These burns go all the way through the skin to the nerves and bones.  The skin will be charred and dry.  Treatment may include amputation of the burned body parts.

Burn injuries - of any degree can be extremely painful.  Pain from burns can be one of the most intense and prolonged types of pain a person can experience.  Severe burns can drastically change a victim's life.  Patients may often require long periods of hospitalization, followed by painful rehabilitation.  Often times a victim's dressings over the burns need to be changed - this action of removing the bandage from the blistered, burned area can be excruciating.

If you've sustained a burn injury, fill out our free case evaluation.

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