The severity of burns dictates the type of treatment required, as well as the prognosis. Severe burns are life-altering injuries which can result in loss of mobility, organ damage and other permanent harm. Even minor or moderate burns can cause significant scarring. Burn injuries are painful when they happen and often require painful treatments. The long-term psychological effects can be significant, both from the initial trauma and the scarring and disfigurement that can result from burn injuries.
Severity of Burns – Total Body Surface Area
One of the ways that the severity of burns is classified is by the total body surface area (TBSA), or percentage of the skin on the body, that is burned:
- Minor burns – TBSA 10% or less in adults and 5% or less in children
- Moderate burns – 10% to 20% TBSA in adults, 5% to 10% in children
- Major/severe burns – more than 20% TBSA in adults, more than 10% in children
Causes of Severe Burns
Although we typically think of fire when talking about severe burns, open flames are just one of many causes of severe burns, many of which do not even involve fire or contact with hot objects. Causes of burns include:
- Thermal – high heat including open flames, contact with hot surfaces and contact with hot liquids or steam
- Chemical – contact with a caustic substance, usual an acid or base, including battery acid, wet concrete, and cleaning materials
- Radiation – most commonly exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, usually in the form of severe sunburn, but can also be caused by radiation therapy, radio waves, high frequency microwaves, gamma rays and nuclear fallout
- Electrical – contact with electricity from sources such as exposed wiring, appliance falls in bathtub, metal object poked into outlet or appliance, lightning strike, electrical arc
If you have suffered burn injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing or caused by a defective product, please contact an experienced burn injury attorney today to learn more about your legal rights.
In Shreveport and throughout Louisiana, attorney J. Ransdell Keene represents burn injury victims. Please call today for your free claim evaluation.