In any car accident in Oregon there is potential from burns, whether from the air bag, fires, chemical leaks or other common crash hazards. According to the American Burn Association, an estimated 486,000 people typically receive medical treatment at hospitals and burn centers annually.
Over a recent 10-year period, statistics indicate that about 5% of the serious burn injuries treated at burn centers were the result of motor vehicle accidents. Here are three risk factors that may affect a person’s chances of recovery.
- Burn shock
The medical journal Critical Care reports that one of the reasons that burn injuries are so dangerous is that a person with a severe thermal injury or a burn injury that covers 20% or more of the body surface may develop burn shock. This involves acute system responses that affect blood flow and fluid retention in the body, and the risk may continue for hours after the injury as the build-up leads to a dangerous build-up of pressure in the body.
- Delayed healing
After those with large burns have been successfully resuscitated, they will likely begin a longer period of hypermetabolic response, where they may have increased heart rate, inflammation, higher body temperature, protein loss and muscle wasting. These reactions often delay the healing of the wound.
Infection is another major threat to people with serious burn injuries. The damaged immune status can lead to sepsis for some, which in turn makes the inflammation worse.
About 3,400 people die from burn injuries every year, a number that represents a significant improvement over the past few decades. Now, only about 3% of the people who must be admitted to burn centers die because of their injuries.