What are the possible complications of a burn injury?
The hours following a severe burn injury are crucial to protecting the patient from life-threatening complications, such as an infection. Burns remove the body’s protective layer of skin, leaving the patient susceptible to harmful microbes. Antibiotics can help protect the patient from a debilitating or fatal infection.
Depending on the injury, burn victims can suffer respiratory problems after inhaling smoke and overheated chemicals. Thus, it is imperative that physicians check for, and treat, damage to a patient’s airways. Seizures may also occur, but this complication happens almost exclusively in children. It can be attributed to electrolyte imbalance, stress hormones, or other unknown reasons.
The formation of thick scar tissue (keloids) can be a complication of burn injuries and their subsequent treatment with skin grafts. The incidence of keloids can often be reduced by using pressure garments on the affected areas during the healing process.
A burn patient should also be monitored to make sure his or her fluid balance is regulated and that he or she is getting the appropriate amount of oxygen. Failure to monitor a patient’s vital signs can have devastating consequences.
If you suspect that a doctor neglected to properly care for a severe burn, attorneys Chris Mellino and Tom Robenalt welcome you to contact our Cleveland office for a free consultation. You may also request Chris’ free guide to filing a medical malpractice claim in Ohio.