Suffering severe burns in a fire or explosion results in a drastic change in the life of burn victims and the lives of their loved ones, perhaps for years into the future. Depending on the extent of injuries, serious burns commonly involve weeks or months in the hospital, perhaps substantially longer for the most severe cases.
What happens when doctors prepare to discharge burn victims to go home or to a rehabilitation center to continue recovery. Unlike many other injuries, burns may take years and numerous painful surgeries to heal. Even then, the person may be left with disfiguring scars and ongoing complications as scar tissue develops over the wounds. You may be wondering what to expect in the months following release from the hospital.
The slow path to recovery
Victims of severe burns commonly need help caring for their wounds. For those fortunate to have supportive family members, those loved ones may take up this duty. This will include keeping the wound clean, changing bandages, watching for signs of infection and monitoring the areas of the body where doctors removed healthy skin to graft into the wounds. To ensure the fullest possible recovery, doctors may instruct any of the following:
- Wear special garments to protect fragile skin.
- Avoid extremely hot or cold water since your injuries will be sensitive.
- Take it easy and avoid any activities that will cause the body to overheat and sweat.
- Rest and drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Wash gently to avoid damaging the delicate areas of body.
- Apply special lubricants frequently since the skin's oil-producing glands may have suffered damage in the fire.
- Exercise as the physical therapist instructs, and stretch regularly.
- Be aware of complications, such as blisters, bruises, fever, swelling or increasing pain.
Burn injuries are notoriously painful, so burn victims will have to learn how to manage pain. All this suffering and the new reality of life after a burn injury is unfair, especially if the injuries resulted from the negligence or reckless actions of someone else, such as a property owner who ignored fire regulations or an employee who did not comply with safety protocol.
Seeking compensation for injuries may seem like an overwhelming task in the middle of your many challenges. However, with the help of a determined legal professional, victims and their families may secure the funds needed to seek the highest quality care for recovery.