New Burn Treatments Make the News
March 7, 2017 / Catastrophic Injuries
Facts about Burns
Most burns happen at home, and cooking is the biggest cause of fires in the home, followed by heating sources such as space heaters and wood stoves. But something you might not know is that the workplace is the second-likeliest place you can be burned.
Close to half a million people—450,000—seek hospital and ER burn treatment every year, according to the American Burn Association. This number doesn’t include the many more people who seek help from community health centers, hospital clinics, and doctors’ offices. Children under the age of four are most often burned by scalding—a total of 200,000 of them each year.
Burns are classified according to degrees: first, second, third, and fourth, with fourth being the most severe, even penetrating bone. A second-degree burn, which causes blisters, is often serious enough to need specialized treatment to minimize scarring and skin discoloration, as it can penetrate the dermis, or second layer of the skin. The outermost skin layer is called the epidermis.
Burn Treatments Now in Use
Some of the new treatments currently being employed to help burn victims include:
- The SkinGun. When a burn is severe, the patient needs to have healthy skin mesh-grafted onto the burned area. Sometimes the skin must be grown in a lab or even be taken from a cadaver. But the RenovaCare SkinGun and CellMist treatment procedure uses a patient’s own regenerative stem cells harvested from the dermal and epidermal layers. The cells are then misted over the damaged area. The treatment speeds healing while minimizing discoloration and scarring.
- OrCel, a new kind of temporary dressing. OrCel employs layers of donated human skin cells along with collagen (a connective tissue) from cows to make a temporary dressing for the burn wound that is kept in place for two to three weeks. A study concluded that some wound sites healed faster with these temporary dressings.
- Moist exposed burn ointment (MEBO). Hypertrophic scarring, which is caused by a deep injury to the secondary skin layer (the dermis), can result from a serious burn. After testing something called MEBO, researchers have concluded that it produced less hypertrophic scarring than other dressings or antibiotic ointment.
- Tissue expanders for pediatric burn victims. Skin on the scalp and the face needs to look as much like the rest of the patient’s skin as possible. Plastic surgeons can now use a small balloon inserted under the patient’s skin that is gradually inflated with salt water. The skin that covers the expanding balloon responds by growing new skin. Then, the nearby burned area is replaced with a portion of the expanded skin that is “flapped over” the burned area. The one downside is that growing the skin can take three to four months.
- Integra Dermal Regeneration Template. Deep hand burns can be especially problematical to heal, but French researchers have studied the Integra product, which is comprised of two layers. The burn wounds were covered by both layers of the product, and at some point the top layer is replaced with a donor skin graft. In the study, 100 percent of all skin grafts were successful after using Integra.
- Urgotul. Second-degree burns can receive a treatment, Urgotul, which helps prevent infections. The product soaks a dressing called a lipidocolloid, which is similar to skin, with sulfasalazine, a drug routinely used to prevent infections in burn units.
In a number of cases, burn injuries are caused by negligence. We hope you and your loved ones never need such burn treatments, but should you experience a severe burn that you believe was caused by another’s negligence, seeking legal assistance could be your best option and could result in monetary compensation for expensive medical treatments.
When others breach their duty, we keep ours.
If you or a loved one is burned due to someone else’s negligence, they and not you should have to bear the costs associated with your treatment and recovery. This could include both economic and non-economic damages. “Economic damages” are things such as past and future medical bills; the cost of rehabilitation; assistive devices and prostheses; and lost wages. Typical “non-economic” damages are compensation for pain and suffering, and for mental anguish resulting from the injury.
Let our Indianapolis burn injuries lawyers fight for you. The experience of Mike Stephenson and the resources of Stephenson Rife can be your means of achieving justice when you are the victim of someone’s negligence or recklessness. Call 1-317-825-5200 or use our online contact form for a free evaluation of your claim.