A burn’s severity is classified by degree. Most people are familiar with the first three burn degrees and assume that third-degree burns are the most severe type of burn. This is actually not the case. Fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns do occur, but they are not discussed as frequently as the other types because in nearly every case where a fourth, fifth, or sixth-degree burn occurs, the victim dies.
A first-degree burn is the least severe type of burn. It is rare for a first-degree burn victim to need medical care. With a first-degree burn, only the outer layer of the skin is damaged. It may turn red and become sensitive to the touch.
A second-degree burn goes beyond the epidermis and reaches the dermis, the layer of skin below its surface. A second-degree burn is similar to a first-degree burn. Both cause the skin to redden and become sensitive and painful. With a second-degree burn, swelling and blistering can also occur. Treatment for a second-degree burn often involves prescription antibiotic ointment.
A third-degree burn is not painful. This is because the nerve endings in the skin are destroyed, leaving the victim numb. A third-degree burn goes beneath the dermis to reach the layers of tissue below. At this point, the victim needs antibiotics and could require a skin graft or synthetic skin as part of his or her treatment. The victim could also need IV fluid replacement for the fluids that were lost at the site of the burn.
Burns more severe than third-degree are often fatal. What separates fourth, fifth, and sixth-degree burns from each other is how deep they reach into the victim’s body. Of these three categories, victims are most likely to survive fourth-degree burns. When they do, they require skin grafts as part of their medical treatment.
A fourth-degree burn reaches the muscle and ligaments deep beneath the skin and tissue beneath.
A fifth-degree burn reaches through the muscle and damages the bone somewhat, but not completely.
A sixth-degree burn scorches through every layer of tissue and reaches the bones, which are charred and damaged. A victim cannot survive a sixth-degree burn.
Work with an Experienced Atlanta Burn Injury Lawyer
Our team of burn injury lawyers at Walker Morgan, LLC work specifically with individuals who suffered burns in accidents that were not their fault. If you are a burn victim facing steep damages because of an accident, do not wait to start working toward monetary compensation for your damages. Contact our office today to set up your free legal consultation with us.