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November 6, 2014

Common Causes of Burn Injuries

flamesAccording to statistics published by the American Burn Association (ABA) [1], an estimated 450,000 people in the United States received medical treatment for burn injuries in 2013. Furthermore, approximately 40,000 patients required extensive treatment that required prolonged stays in burn centers or hospitals. Though most burn victims ultimately survive their injuries, burns and the necessary surgeries and other procedures can be extraordinarily painful and expensive. If a burn occurs because another party acted in a negligent manner, the burn victim should be able to recover for their losses from the responsible party.

Where do most burns occur?

The ABA also reports that the large majority of burn injuries (72 percent) take place in the victim’s home. In addition to the home, Americans are most commonly burned while at work (9 percent), while on the highway or other roadway (5 percent), while participating in a sport or other recreational activity (5 percent), or other miscellaneous locations (9 percent). In short, burns can happen almost anywhere, so you should always be aware of common causes or risks for burns so that you may avoid this type of painful injury.

Common causes

When you think of burns, you most likely think about fire. However, burns can be caused in a wide variety of ways, many of which do not involve any type of flame. The following are some of the most common ways [2] that victims suffer burn injuries:

  • Fire or flame
  • Scalding from hot steam or liquid
  • Contact with hot glass, metal, or other objects or surfaces
  • Radiation burns from cancer therapy or x-rays
  • Ultraviolet burns from tanning beds or lamps
  • Chemical burns due to contact with lye, acid, or other toxic substances
  • Electrical burns

All of the above types of burns have the potential to be severe and damage many layers of skin, muscle, nerves, or other tissue, sometimes even exposing the bone. Burns may require skin grafts, surgeries, and more to try to replace the damaged tissue, and many burn victims suffer permanent scarring and disfigurement. Burns also commonly cause psychological damage in victims due to the severe pain and scarring that can occur. Any burn victims should consult with an experienced lawyer to discuss how they can recover.

[1] http://www.ameriburn.org/resources_factsheet.php

[2] http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/burns/basics/causes/con-20035028

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