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Different types of burns

As any Ohio patient knows, a burn injury is very serious and needs to be treated properly and in a timely manner. However, there are many different types of burns, with each type requiring a specific treatment. For example, burns caused by a hot coffee spill will be different from burns caused by a flammable liquid.

The four main types of heat-based burns are flash, scalds, flame and contact burns. A flash burn can occur when flammable liquids, including propane, natural gas or gasoline, explode. Clothing can protect a person against a flash burn, though there is the risk that the clothing will catch fire. Scalds are burns that are caused by hot liquids, such as water, oil, grease or tar. A flame burn is caused by exposure to extreme heat either resulting from flammable liquids, burning clothing or car crashes. Finally, contact burns occur when someone touches a hot item, such as hot glass, metals or coals.

The other three main types of burns include chemical, electrical and radiological burns. Chemical burns occur when acids or alkali substances mix with lipids in the skin, causing the burns. Electrical burns can occur when a certain amount of electricity runs through the body. Finally, a radiological burn occurs when someone comes into contact with alpha, beta or gamma radiation.

When someone becomes involved in an accident, whether it is a car accident, a home fire or a spill, the person is at risk for suffering a serious burn injury. If there is evidence that someone else was liable for the burn injuries, the injured person may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against that person. Because burn injuries require a large amount of treatment, the injured person could seek compensation for skin grafts, rehabilitation and other medical bills depending upon the severity of the burns.

Source: UNM Hospitals, "Types of Burn Injury", November 25, 2014

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