Each year around 265,000 people are killed across the globe as a result of burns, and thousands of others are injured or disabled. In fact, as many as 11 million people across the world are burned each year to the point that they need medical attention, according to the World Health Organization. In the United States, around 486,000 people will require medical attention from severe burn injuries each year, according to the American Burn Association, with 40,000 of those resulting in hospitalization.
Burns often occur at home, with cooking being a primary risk factor, but they can also occur at work for those who work with hot or caustic materials. For young children, scalding with hot liquid is the most common cause of injury. Hot tap water, as well as spilled food or drinks, can cause these injuries. For adults, the most prevalent cause of burn injury is an open fire or flame.
Burns are classified based on severity. First-degree burns are fairly minor and can be treated at home. Second-degree burns, causing blisters, may need medical treatment to prevent scarring, and third- or fourth-degree burns are the more severe. Fourth-degree burns penetrate to the bone.
Due to the nature of burn injuries, scarring is common. People often live with visible scars that are embarrassing and cause a significant amount of psychological struggle. Doctors are constantly looking for treatments that can minimize scarring, improve recovery times and reduce the stigma associated with burn injuries. Some promising new treatments currently being used give hope to those facing the realities of a burn injury.
New Burn Treatments Currently in Use
Some of the new treatments burn victims can turn to include:
Moist Exposed Burn Ointment
MEBO can help reduce the hypertropic scarring that occurs when the dermis is injured by burns. MEBO is a botanical drug made from beeswax and edible herbs that is placed on the burn to reduce the amount of scarring. It keeps the area moist while stimulating the body’s natural healing abilities.
For severe burns, the SkinGun reduces the need for skin grafts by using the patient’s own stem cells to grow new skin. These cells are placed into the SkinGun and misted over the damaged area to speed healing while minimizing scarring.
When children are burned on the face or scalp, tissue expanders allow the doctors to expand non-damaged skin to harvest for surgical repair of the damaged skin. This allows for a more natural-looking repair of the scarred skin.
OrCel uses collagen and donated human skin to create a temporary dressing for the burn. This may help the wound heal faster and with less scaring.
Integra Dermal Regeneration Template
This technique is designed for difficult burns of the hand. It has two layers to cover the injured area. After the area has healed for a while, the top layer is replaced with a skin graft. This improves the chances of the graft’s adhering properly.
Urgotul is a special dressing that helps reduce the risk of infection for those suffering from second-degree burns.
Contact Our Burn Injury Attorneys
If you or your child has received a burn injury, getting prompt medical attention is the key to reducing the long-term effects. After you’ve seen the doctor or visited the hospital, it’s also important to talk to an attorney, especially if the injury was caused due to another person’s negligence or a faulty product. For those in New Haven and the surrounding Connecticut communities, The Law Office of Ronald M. Scherban, P.C., is available to help with burn injury cases. Contact the firm at 203-865-6414 today.