A Florida Blue Rhino propane facility recently exploded, critically injuring eight workers. Three were transported to a medical trauma facility with a burn unit. The workers likely face a long road to recovery, because burns often worsen a day or two afterward, and other injuries can create complications. Although it is not yet known what caused the explosion, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration fined the facility in 2011 for safety violations involving tools and equipment.
Four degrees of burns
Burn injuries range from minor to life-threatening, and the effects can be permanent. Burns can happen from vehicle fires, electrical and chemical explosions, and contact with hot liquid, objects or gas. Following is a brief explanation of the different types of burns.
First-degree burns are the least damaging, affecting only the outer layer of skin. Symptoms include redness and pain that can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication and soothing ointments. They usually resolve within a week. Sunburn is an example.
Second-degree burns affect the second layer of skin. Symptoms include redness, pain and swelling. These burns usually look wet and can cause blisters and scarring. Treatment involves trimming blisters, splinting limbs to prevent stiffness, applying skin grafts and bandaging affected areas.
Third-degree burns reach the fat layer underneath the skin and can be extremely painful. Symptoms include waxy, leathery, white skin that can be numb if there was nerve damage. Dead skin is often removed as soon as possible and replaced with skin grafts, and splints are placed on burned limbs. A procedure called escharotomy releases constriction of a limb that was burned to its full circumference.
Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and affect internal body elements, such as muscles and bones. Skin looks black and charred, and complete numbness is possible because of extensive nerve damage. Multiple surgeries and skin-graft procedures may be needed.
The more severe the burn, the more pain the victim endures. Surgeries and medical procedures also drain a wallet quickly, often leaving the victim and the victim’s family in emotional and financial distress. If you or a family member was burned in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you have the right to sue the person for compensation, and an experienced burn injury attorney in Bradenton can help you get justice.