Find a Burn Injury Center Near You
Burn injuries are among the most devastating of all injuries. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that 1.1 million people experience burn injuries every year in the United States. Their injuries hospitalize about 50,000 of them, and about 20,000 suffer burns that affect a quarter of their bodies. In addition, approximately 4,500 victims die from their injuries, and thousands more die from burn-related infections.
These injuries damage a person’s skin, tissues, muscles, and even bones. The cause and severity of the injury affect the person’s treatment and length of recovery. However, burn injury victims often endure painful wounds, scars, and enormous medical bills. If you have suffered injuries due to someone elses negligence, speak with a personal injury lawyer today and discuss your potential recovery options.
Why go to a burn center?
Initially, when you go to a doctor for burn treatment, they will assess the severity of your burn. They may then transfer you to a burn center. Burn injury centers typically treat both adults and children, although some are pediatric specialists.
The American Burn Association provides a list of circumstances in which a victim should consider treatment from a burn center:
- Burns on the face, hands, feet, genitalia, or major joints
- Third-degree burns, which may appear charred, whitish, or translucent. There may also be no pain, indicating possible nerve damage.
- Burns that cover more than 10 percent of total body surface area
- Electrical or chemical burns
- Existence of a pre-existing medical condition that may complicate recovery
Burn victims may ask why a nearby hospital cannot treat them. However, burn injuries are unique. They require specialized treatment. Burns can become infected and require surgery or skin grafts without specialized care. Also, people with severe burns may need long-term rehabilitation, physical therapy, and emotional support.
Treatment at a burn center reduces stress and makes it easier to coordinate care. For example, you will not have surgery at one place and then have to move to another site for rehabilitative treatment. Health professionals at a burn center are focused on the needs of burn patients.
Centers typically have specialists such as:
- Burn surgeons who have additional training in burns, trauma, or critical care
- Burn rehabilitation specialists
- Nurses with special training in caring for burn patients
- Social workers
Cost of Burn Injury Care
Burn treatments cost an estimated $10 billion each year. Unfortunately, most people cannot pay out-of-pocket for burn treatments.
Even a moderate burn can cost over $200,000 to treat.
- Approximately 66 percent of burn cases involve scarring and disfigurement. Treatment for these conditions may cost between $28,000 and $35,000.
- Infections are responsible for 51 percent of burn injury fatalities. Treatment for infections can range from $58,000 to $120,000.
- Treatment for skin breakdown costs from $38,000 to $107,000 to treat.
- Treatment for skin grafts or delayed wound healing costs between $37,000 and $110,000.
- Treatment for psychological complications can cost between $16,000 and $75,000.
The prospect of these medical costs is daunting. However, most burn injury victims and their families are most concerned with obtaining the best possible care.
How can you find a burn injury center?
Your doctor can recommend resources to help you find the best place for you. There are many excellent burn injury centers throughout California and in neighboring states. The American Burn Association provides a map indicating burn injury centers across the United States. Most of these are American Burn Association verified.
The Center of Excellence consists of two linked, but separate, programs: Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center, which takes care of adults (over 18 years of age), and Shriners Hospitals for Children Northern California, which provides free care to children (18 years and under). Examples of centers located in northern California include:
- Shriners Hospitals for Children – Northern California, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, California 95817. Phone: 916-453-2191.
This facility treats all levels and types of burns, including electrical burns, flame burns, and chemical burns. They provide not only medical care, but also occupational and physical therapy, psychological services, nutrition, social services, child life, orthotics and prosthetics, school support, and even a makeup clinic.
This burn treatment center, also known as the Firefighters Burn Institute Regional Burn Center, is the largest in Northern California. They have state-of-the-art equipment and technology. Besides the clinical program, the burn program conducts extensive research and provides a fellowship in burns that trains future burn surgeons.
- Bothin Burn Center at Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, 900 Hyde St., San Francisco, CA, 94109. Phone: (855) 565-0287.
With a 16-bed intensive care burn unit, this is the largest facility of its kind in northern California. Among its treatment options, it provides an isolation unit that contains an independent ventilating system designed to minimize the risk of outside contamination.
- Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Burn Center, 751 S. Bascom Ave., San Jose, CA 95128. Phone: 408- 885-5000.
This is an eight-bed intensive care and rehabilitation unit that treats both adults and children. It provides numerous treatment and rehabilitation options for burn victims suffering from chemical, thermal, contact, radiation, and electrical injuries.
- The Grossman Burn Center, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital, 420 34th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301. Phone: 661-323-BURN (2876).
This facility contains a seven-bed intensive care unit, pediatric burn care, hydrotherapy treatments, and an outpatient clinic.
Common burn injuries
Many burn victims experience:
- Nerve damage
- Physical pain and swelling
In some cases, there are complications. Invasive infection is now the chief reason for death and morbidity after burn injury, with it being responsible for 51 percent of the deaths. Sepsis, a dangerous bloodstream infection, often follows a bacterial infection.
Another complication is hypovolemia or low blood volume. This happens when blood vessel damage causes excessive fluid loss. Victims may also experience dangerously low body temperature and breathing problems caused by inhaling smoke or hot air. The injury often causes joint and bone problems because scar tissue causes the skin, muscles, or tendons to shorten and tighten. Also, an overgrowth of scar tissue may result in ridged areas or excessive scarring.
Initial treatment may try to arrest the burn process. If you need medical treatment, the doctor will assess the severity of your burn. After that, treatment may involve wound dressings, medications, and possibly surgery and therapy. The primary goal of burn treatment is to remove dead tissue, prevent infection, control pain, reduce scarring, and regain function.
Common causes of burns
Most burn injuries fall into the following categories:
Heat or thermal burns
These may occur from fire or flames, car fires, wildfires, or touching hot objects. Scalds are the leading cause of burn injuries for children and older people.
Each year, about 1,000 people die from electrical burns in the U.S. Electrical burns result from lightning, household currents, stun guns, or direct contact with power lines. Victims should always seek medical attention because even though a burn may not be visible, it could still cause internal damage.
Approximately 3 percent of burns in the United States are chemical burns. These burns frequently occur in the workplace. However, they are also a common occurrence among children in the home. It often happens due to household cleaning products or mixing two household cleaning products. These burns are extremely severe and painful. They may affect deep tissue, and swallowing chemicals may cause internal organ damage.
Radiation burns are different from other burns because they alter the body’s cell structure, potentially leading to cancer. People often associate radiation burns with nuclear energy. However, exposure to UV light, such as the sun, or high-frequency microwaves or radio waves can lead to radiation burns. In addition, radiation burn is a side effect of radiation therapy to treat cancer.
Some statistical sources group thermal and inhalation burns together because, in some cases, it is hard to determine which one caused the death. However, inhaling fire, smoke, or toxic fumes such as carbon monoxide can cause internal injuries, respiratory distress, eye damage, and cause chronic heart and lung disease.
California residents experience the same causes of burns as everywhere else, such as car fires, electrocution, house fires, and work-related burns. However, the incidence of California wildfires has increased dramatically over the last decade. There were 8,315 fires in California in 2019. As a result, many people suffered smoke and ash inhalation and other severe burn injuries. Review our resources on the Dixie fire to understand the growing severity of wildfires in California.
Burn injury lawsuits
In addition to the physical pain and psychological trauma, the economic cost of a burn injury can be disastrous for victims and families. Victims usually face significant medical bills. They may also suffer temporary or permanent disability. This means lost current and future income if the injured person cannot return to their job or career. In addition, if the victim is a child, a parent may lose income because they must care for the child.
Burns happen in a wide variety of accidents. Depending on the circumstances that led to your burn injury, you may be able to file a claim based on personal injury, product liability, premises liability, or a workplace accident. There may be one or more potentially liable parties, including negligent individuals, product manufacturers, contractors, and home inspectors. It may be overwhelming to deal with taking legal action in the aftermath of a painful and traumatic burn injury.
However, a burn injury attorney can help in this challenging time by:
- Investigating injuries,
- Gathering evidence,
- Managing a victim’s medical treatment,
- Filing an injury claim with a party’s insurer, and
- Filing a burn injury lawsuit.
California, like all states, has statutes of limitations that govern the filing deadlines for different types of cases. Therefore, it is best to consult an attorney as soon as possible.
Recovery from a burn injury is a long, painful, emotionally exhausting, and expensive road to travel. A severe burn can alter your life. It may mean months of rehabilitation and possibly permanent disfigurement. Even minor burns can have significant impacts on your life.
An experienced burn injury attorney can explain your legal options and protect your rights. Contact a burn injury attorney today for more information and your free case evaluation.