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Burned in a work accident? Know types of burns, treatments

We've been discussing burn injuries in the context of the restaurant industry for several weeks now, but we should stop and acknowledge that they of course do occur across a wide sector of workplaces. Considering that a work-related accident may lead to a burn injury in any number of workplaces, let's look in greater detail at what the National Institute of General Medical Sciences has to say about the effects of a burn and treatment.

Burn treatment and rehabilitation can be a long-term proposition, especially when skin grafting is necessary. This is why victims with more serious burns are likely to need to take time away from work for treatment. Workers' compensation can support them when an accident on the job caused the burn injury.

Utica workers have likely heard burns described as first, second and third degree before. These terms essentially describe how deep the injury goes. In a first-degree burn, only the epidermis, or outer layer, is affected. A second degree burn damages the next layer (the dermis) as well. A third-degree burn destroys both layers of skin and damages tissue beneath the skin.

There was a time not so long ago when burn victims with injuries covering 50 percent or more of their bodies would often lose their lives. Today, victims may still survive even with as little as 10 percent of their bodies left unburnt. Specialized burn units can leverage the latest technology, including skin grafting -- a procedure in which skin is transferred from one part of the body (or from a donor's body) and grown into new skin to replace the skin damaged or destroyed by the burn.

Source: National Institute of General Medical Sciences, "Burns Fact Sheet," accessed on April 11, 2015

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