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What You Need to Know About Burn Injuries

In July, a Henry County woman woke up from a two-month induced coma. Doctors sedated the woman after a former boyfriend threw sulfuric acid in her face, causing third degree burns on 20 percent of her body. Severe burns can have lifelong consequences including amputation, disfigurement and death.

Minor burns — first and second degree

First-degree burns are the least severe type of burn injury. Common symptoms include redness and minor pain — often for under a week. Most first-degree burns, such as minor sunburns, can be treated by applying topical first aid.

Common causes of second-degree burns include contact with extremely hot surfaces such as pool covers, contact with fire, and exposure to certain corrosive chemicals. Second-degree burns are typically characterized by intense pain, swelling and blistering. Second-degree burns also tend to leave an open wound — if left untreated they may become infected.

Serious burns — third and fourth degree

Third-degree burns damage the fat layer beneath the dermis, or second layer of skin. The skin of a third degree burn victim may appear stiff, leathery and waxy-white or tan. Third-degree burns can also destroy nerves, causing numbness. Common causes of third degree burns include acid burns, contact with fire and fireworks accidents.

Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn. Victims of fourth-degree burns experience severe damage not only to the skin, but also to the muscles and bones below. The burn area may appear blackened or charred. In most cases, fourth-degree burn victims also experience a complete lack of sensation due to severe nerve damage — the result may be amputation, total loss of function in the affected area, and death. Common causes of fourth-degree burns include prolonged exposure to fire and electrical injuries.

If you or a relative has suffered a burn injury, our knowledgeable and aggressive Gwinnett and Atlanta-area personal injury attorneys can help you to evaluate the scope of potential harm and put in place the necessary steps to ensure just compensation.

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