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What are the burn injury categories?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2024 | Personal Injury

Burns can occur for various reasons, including accidental fires, scalding liquids, chemicals and electrocution. In many cases, burns occur because of a person or business’s actions or negligence.

Regarding burn injuries, medical professionals categorize them based on severity and depth of tissue damage.

First-degree burns

First-degree burns are the mildest burn injury, affecting only the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis. Symptoms of first-degree burns include redness, pain, and minor swelling. These burns typically heal within a few days and do not usually require medical attention.

Second-degree burns

Second-degree burns involve damage to both the outer layer of the skin and the underlying layer. Symptoms of second-degree burns include blistering, severe pain, swelling, and redness. More severe burns can take several weeks to heal, resulting in scarring if not properly treated.

Third-degree burns

Typically, the most severe burns include third-degree burns. These burns affect all layers of the skin and potentially underlying tissue, muscles, and bones. Symptoms of third-degree burns include charred or white skin, numbness, and difficulty moving the affected area. In the event of a third-degree burn, you require immediate medical attention and may also need skin grafting or other surgical interventions to promote healing.

Fourth-degree burns

Fourth-degree burns are extremely rare and severe. They appear white or charred and pose a significant risk to the patient, which can result in infection and complications. To treat fourth-degree burns, extensive surgery and rehabilitation are often required.

Assessing the severity of a burn injury involves evaluating the depth of tissue damage, the size and location of the affected area, and the presence of any associated complications, such as infection or inhalation injury.


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