Burn Injuries and Brain Damage

Statistics show that there are 450,000 emergency room visits due to burn injuries every year in the United States. After emergency treatment, 10% of those injuries (or some 45,000 people) will be admitted to long-term care or treatment at burn centers. Unfortunately, about 3,500 of these burn victims will not survive.

Fortunately, survival rates among burn injury victims in the United States are very high, at just over 93%. Unfortunately, the resulting injuries can include permanent disfigurement, loss of physical ability, and even brain damage.

Surprisingly, one of the most common lifelong results of burn injuries sustained in a fire is brain injury. Cerebral hypoxia is a condition in which oxygen is cut off from the brain, causing brain cells to die. During a fire, oxygen is consumed very quickly by the fire and can leave levels too low for those trapped in the blaze. Cerebral hypoxia can result in death, and for those who die in a fire is often the cause of death rather than actual burning. But, when one survives the
fire, cerebral hypoxia can result in permanent brain damage. Those who do will usually have permanent scars and other injuries that may require significant surgery and other expensive treatment to restore the victim's life to as normal a state as possible. Recovery from this type of injury is often not possible, though new treatments, like stem-cell research, are offering promising results for the future. Nevertheless, if your loved one has suffered cerebral hypoxia after a fire, you are likely already aware of the immense financial burden this injury will cause, both immediately after the fire and for the rest of your loved one's life.

Burns caused by electrical shock can also result in brain injuries. When the human body is exposed to a live electrical current, it will often act as a conduit between the current and the ground. This amount of electricity flowing through the body can interfere with the normal firing of bodily electrical functions, causing cardiac arrest, neuromuscular disorders, and brain damage. The current can also damage the respiratory system, cutting off oxygen to the brain, or can simply burn both internal and external bodily structures. In other instances, the surge of electricity may cause a concussive shock to your brain, resulting in irreversible damage. In any of these instances, permanent disability may be added to disfigurement, further impacting every aspect of both the victim's life and the lives of his or her loved ones.

Brain injuries will often require years of treatment. They can cause paralysis, loss of speech, loss of memory, impairment of fine motor skills, and many other conditions. As a result, in addition to surgery for the burn injuries, the victim may have years of physical and occupational therapy ahead of them.

If your injury, or that of a loved one, was caused by the negligence or wrongdoing of another party, you may be entitled to compensation from those responsible. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, disfigurement, disability, emotional distress, physical pain and suffering, and loss of quality of life. Of course, to maximize the chances for your recovery, you will need to contact a local attorney experienced with this type of case. A personal injury attorney will usually not charge you any out of pocket expenses and will only be paid out of the final settlement or judgment obtained for you or your loved one. They can also help you find doctors to help with your recovery and, of course, will guide you through the process of identifying all parties liable for these injuries and obtaining compensation for you and your loved ones.

Provided by HG.org

Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication at the time it was written. It is not intended to provide legal advice or suggest a guaranteed outcome as individual situations will differ and the law may have changed since publication. Readers considering legal action should consult with an experienced lawyer to understand current laws and.how they may affect a case.

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