You can engage in the same activities day in and day out without incident. Then, one day, things go terribly wrong. Perhaps you were in a car accident in which the car caught fire. Maybe you were lifting a boiling pot of water, and it slipped from your hands. You may even have been at work when a piece of equipment malfunctioned.
Regardless of the circumstances, you now suffer from moderate to severe burns. More than likely, your primary concern is healing your burns. What you may not yet consider is the fact that your injuries leave you particularly vulnerable to infection.
Types of burns
The severity of your burns may or may not affect your risk of infection. Moderate to severe burns generally fall into one of two categories:
- Second-degree burns go into the second layer of skin, called the dermis, and the larger the area affected by this type of burn, the more dangerous it is to your health. Even smaller burns to certain areas of your body such as the face, groin, or hands or feet are considered dangerous as well.
- Third degree burns can threaten your life regardless of how small an area the burns cover since they go through all layers of the skin and into the fat layer. The risk of infection is greatest if you suffer from these types of burns.
If the burns are on your face, it may not matter whether they are second or third degree burns since your airways could suffer damage.
Your doctor should know
It doesn't take a doctor to know that anytime the skin is broken, the possibility of infection exists. If your burns do become infected and you do not receive the necessary treatment in a timely manner, it will only get worse. You could end up with a more serious health issue called sepsis. This happens when your body's immune response goes into overdrive and attacks it. Sepsis can quickly become life threatening if not diagnosed and treated quickly.
If you do contract sepsis, it may occur because your doctor missed an infection. Under these circumstances, you may benefit from some research into whether your care fell below the acceptable standard of care. To better understand your legal rights and options, it may be beneficial to make use of the legal resources available to you.