What are the different degrees of burn injuries?

As the National Institutes of Health explains, Doctors divide burns into three categories, depending on how deeply the burn penetrates the skin. These categories are:

  • First-degree burns. The mildest form of burn, a first-degree burn damages the outer layer of the skin.
  • Second-degree burns. These burns go through the outer layer and damage the layer underneath.
  • Third-degree burns. The most serious type of burn, these burns reach the deepest layer of skin and tissues beneath it, damaging or destroying them.

Though we usually associate burns with fire, other substances can cause serious burns. Chemicals, electricity and radiation can burn skin, as can sunlight and hot liquids. Inhaling smoke can cause another form of burn injury.

Burns can lead to swelling, blistering and scarring of the skin. They can also lead to shock and infection, which can in turn cause death. Skin grafts may be necessary if the wound is serious enough.

Anytime a fire or chemical spill happens, people are at risk of getting burned. Many times, the burn victim would not have been hurt if not for the actions — or inaction — of another person.

In Pennsylvania, victims of burns or other personal injuries have a limited time to file suit against the parties responsible. Thus, victims should not put off speaking to an attorney until it is too late.