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Classifying and treating third-degree burns

On Behalf of | May 15, 2022 | Fatal Accidents And Catastrophic Injuries

The severity of burns is classified by degrees. Third-degree burns are the highest levels of injury that are treated immediately. Otherwise, the victim faces worsening symptoms and long-term health problems. In Texas, burn specialists use nationwide health care guidelines to determine the degree of a burn.

The severity of third-degree burns

Third-degree burns penetrate into the skin, muscles, nerves, tendons and bones. The dermis and epidermis are burned through, causing redness, swelling and pain or no pain if the nerves are destroyed. Third-degree burns may appear dry and leathery or have discolored, charred skin. Since some tissue remains, much of the damaged areas are repairable.

Common treatments

These burns cannot and should not be treated at home. Burn experts advise you not to wash or soak the burn yourself, apply creams or ointments or clear away the debris. A third-degree burn must be treated immediately to avoid increased risks of infections, scarring, paralysis and amputations. Some patients suffer from serious blood loss, fluid loss or hypothermia that could lead to the loss of consciousness or death.

Treating third-degree burns starts with an emergency medical treatment that includes washing, debridement and the use of intravenous fluids. This degree of burning cannot heal on its own regardless of your do-it-yourself treatments. Repairing the burns often includes several weeks or months of rehabilitation.

Third-degree burns require emergency treatments or the results will be fatal. These burns are classified based on the location, depth and intensity of the damage. Additional care is usually provided at burn centers or hospitals. Physical therapy is required or recommended to help patients regain their movements and strength.