The scars will be permanent, the pain may dissipate and the recovery ongoing. But you are lucky to be alive after the fiery highway crash between your car and a speeding pickup. Lengthy treatments for second- and third-degree burns are in store.
It may take months or even years of rehabilitation to get back to any close resemblance to your pre-accident life. And along the way, you must confront a series of physical, emotional and financial challenges caused by the negligence and recklessness of another driver.
Shock and respiratory damage
With severe burns to the face, hands, feet and torso, you likely will require specialized treatment such as skin grafts and cosmetic reconstruction. In addition, victims of burn injuries also may expect physical therapy along with counseling for depression
Here is a list of some of the major health challenges faced by burn victims:
- Shock: Low blood pressure leads to a limited amount of oxygenated blood flowing through your body. Shock may lead to damaged tissues and internal organs, including the heart, liver, lungs and kidneys. Burn-related shock usually surfaces within the first 24 hours after a person sustains burn injuries.
- Damage to the respiratory system: Smoke inhalation usually is more dangerous than burns. The smoke may damage the lungs, blood vessels and airways. It can lead to permanent breathing trouble and a lifetime reliance on an oxygen tank.
- Eye damage: The cornea – tissue that protects the eye from infections – may sustain considerable damage. The potential result: severe infections, blurred vision, permanent damage, scarring and blindness.
- Sepsis: With an increased presence of bacteria, infections will surface. Sepsis may appear and lead to tissue damage and organ failure.
- Depression and other psychological ailments: Burn victims suffer traumatic injuries that may haunt them for the rest of their lives. Anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are possible.
Any of these scenarios is possible when a person sustains severe burn injuries.
Seek the right help
The complications may be many and the challenges ongoing after a burn injury. The external wounds may remain visible, but the emotional wounds often remain hidden. Get the medical, psychological and professional help you need in order to overcome this situation in the best way possible.