Radiation burns, electrical burns, fire burns, and chemical burns are some of the different types of burns that can occur to anyone. More burn injury victims are surviving than before due to advanced medicine and better medical burn treatment facilities.
However, with survivability comes psychological challenges such as depression, anxiety, reduced self-esteem, and more hindering path to recovery.
There are three stages for physiological recovery of burn injuries and they are critical, acute, and long-term rehabilitation.
A first-degree burn can cause slight redness or swell in extreme cases to a small surface area but burn victims can treat first-degree burns at home.
Second-degree burns are more deep resulting in dead tissue cells and burned skin. These can cause blistering and are extremely painful. Although second-degree burns can get classified as a severe burn injury, a third-degree burn is the most dangerous as it reaches the fat and bones in the human body and covers a larger total body surface area.
All these burns can leave temporary and permanent scarring depending on the following:
Severe burns lead to disfigurement that requires long-term medical treatments and also psychological treatment as the victim faces social challenges.
Let’s explore the psychological challenges that come with such severe burns.
Critical stage: This is a stressful stage when a burn victim ends up in an intensive care environment. They start to think about their life and whether they’re going to make it. Such environments can lead to drowsiness, confusion, and even disorientation. Due to the high dosage of drugs to minimize pain and the spread of infection, patients may start to feel psychotic reactions. Since physical survival is of utmost importance in this phase, doctors and nurses do not tend to focus much on psychological treatment. The only psychological interventions that occur focus on sleep and reducing pain.
Acute: Although this stage includes painful treatments, burn patients receive restorative care as they are more aware of their surroundings and situations. Burn patients are off sedatives in this stage and due to this, they start to exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, and reduced self-esteem. Although severe burn injuries are painful even after the first month, patients also start to develop post-traumatic stress disorder and reduced self-esteem. The severity of the depression correlates to the pain and the social support victims receive from family, friends, and the medical staff. Counseling, drugs, and relaxation techniques are some of the treatments to cure or minimize depression at this stage.
Long-term rehabilitation: When a patient gets discharged, they need to be part of the society once again and this is when the long-term rehabilitation stage starts. Burn patients might require skin graft surgeries after discharge or dressing changes and during the first year of discharge, stress levels can be exceptionally high. Besides the daily hassles faced from burn injuries, victims require constant social support to combat the slow depression that takes over. There are many hospital-based programs for burn patients to enroll and be part of the community once again helping them recover and improve their self-esteem, anxiety, and depression.
If you’ve gotten burn injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact our burn injury lawyer at (213) 596-9642 for a free case evaluation as you may be eligible for compensation. An Ehline Law burn injury attorney can help assess your case, determine your claims, and file a burn injury claim against the negligent party to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact us and our experienced burn injury lawyers for more information on how we can help.