Breakthrough Wound Research
Breakthrough Wound Research. When people develop a large wound, such as those from severe burns, ulcers, or bedsores, numerous issues arise. These create a portal for infection and can cause many aesthetic problems. Furthermore, those with chronic medical problems or those who sustain severe burns may feel like they will never make a full recovery. Some statistics published on burn injuries by the American Burn Association include:
- There are around 500,000 people annually who sustain a serious burn injury based on hospital admissions, emergency department visits, and outpatient clinics.
- More than 3,000 people are killed every year due to fire exposure and smoke inhalation with most of these taking place at residential locations.
- More than 40,000 people each year will require an extended hospital stay because of a burn injury.
- Males are twice as likely to sustain a burn injury as a female.
When someone sustains a serious burn injury, numerous treatment options must be addressed. It is essential to understand how a burn is treated so that individuals and their family members can be prepared if a burn injury occurs.
Treatment of Burn Injuries: Dependent on the Degree
The treatment and rehabilitation process following a burn depends on the severity of the burn. There are several ways that a burn can be categorized, which include:
First Degree: This is a minor burn injury that often results from the contact between the skin and a hot surface. The skin is likely to turn red. However, the pain will often abate by running the site under cool, not cold, water.
Second Degree: This is a serious burn that damages multiple layers of skin. This results in blistering around the site. Treatment should still involve running the injury under cool water until the pain stops.
Third Degree: This is a severe burn injury that often damages the skin all the way down to the bone. Necrosis is present with severe blistering. Nerve and tissue damage may render the wound painless at the site. However, it is often surrounded by painful second-degree burns. These absolutely warrant a trip to a hospital for possible skin grafts and surgery.
Recently, a research article was published that details a novel treatment option for severe burn injuries. Perhaps this could create new possibilities for the treatment of burns in the future.
New Research: Treatment of Burn Injuries and Wound Recovery
Researchers located in La Jolla at the Salk Institute in California recently published a paper in Nature detailing a new method of helping people who have sustained severe burn injuries. The researchers demonstrate a process by which they can convert the cells of an open wound (such as those of burns) directly into new skin cells. The researchers are able to reprogram the cells located at the burn site into stem cells. Then, with the damaged tissue in a stem cell-like state, they are able to use these cells to regenerate new tissue that could be useful in the healing process.
Today, these wounds are often repaired surgically through the use of skin grafts. Unfortunately, when burns are extensive and severe, it is challenging for the surgeons to find enough skin to place a graft that aesthetically covers the wound. Using this novel technique, researchers can convert the damaged tissue into stem cells at the site of the injury and grow them into new, native skin that can help with the healing process. Future studies are planned before this technique is introduced in the medical field.
Help from an Injury Lawyer
When a loved one sustains a severe burn injury, the recovery process depends on the severity of the burn and its location on the body. Sometimes, a burn can cover a large portion of the body and require an extended stay in a hospital with multiple trips to an operating room. Meeting with an experienced personal injury lawyer in Sacramento can help you review all the options available so that you can make a decision that sets you up for a smooth recovery process.
Sacramento Personal Injury Lawyers
I’m Ed Smith, a Personal Injury Lawyer in Sacramento. Burn injuries can lead to long-term skin problems. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an accident due to another person’s negligence, call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly legal advice.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.
You can read through our verdicts or settlements here.
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