In an article in the National Law Review various new techniques to treat serious burn injuries were described. Disabling burn injuries are among the most painful and difficult to treat injuries a victim suffers. Burn injuries often result in death due to secondary infections. Burn injuries are common in south Louisiana due to the industrial and chemical manufacturing plants, the oil and gas plants, and the maritime trades.
Burns cause the loss of skin, which is your body’s protection, and as a result there is such a high risk of secondary infections. Following serious burns, there is no skin to protect the body from harmful bacteria which cause infections. This is in addition to the tremendous pain and suffering experienced by the burn victim.
1st Degree Burn - the least serious and is typically the result of a sunburn, for example.
2nd Degree Burn – this is more serious than 1st Degree burns and involves redness and some blistering.
3rd Degree Burn – this is serious and painful burn; it involves the destruction of all layers of skin and often some muscle tissue under the skin.
4th Degree Burn – this is the worst type of burn and is often deadly; this burn involves the destruction of all layers of skin, all tissue under the skin, and burn damage to the bone itself.
The New Techniques
The new technique applies to thermal (or flame/heat) burns and uses a skin substitute to serve as protection to the body. The skin substitute also provides a base for the patient to regrow new skin if that is possible. This is important because skin grafting, or using a person’s skin to regrow skin, is not always possible or ideal. The skin substitute also replaces the need for a skin donor – which is not always possible either.
The article also discusses a different method using a skin analog. The analog will allow scientists to regrow the patient’s own skin and apply it to the body. Scientists have successfully regrown skin complete with working hair follicles and sweat gland from cells. While not quite ready for medical applications since it is still in testing, the scientists hope the research and techniques will be ready for human trials in the near future.
For further discussion please see: Advances in Technology for Burn Injury Survivors, April 13, 2016, National Law Review, By David M. Schmid
If you or someone you love was in an accident and suffered a disabling burn injury that requires hospitalization and you to miss work, give us a call at Louisiana Disability Law. We have the experience to guide you through this difficult process and advise you on both the injury aspects of your claim and the disability aspects of your claim.