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When a car crash leads to catastrophic burns

If you become the victim of a Colorado car crash, the results likely will be devastating for both you and your passengers. Given the fact that your vehicle’s interior represents a relatively small and enclosed space, even if an SUV or passenger van, plus the fact that it contains many surfaces, fluids and electrical wires that can become hot enough to burn you during a fiery crash, this makes for a potentially deadly combination.

In addition, even if you survive your crash, receiving catastrophic burns during it undoubtedly will change your life forever. Not only are burns some of the most painful injuries, they also invariably leave substantial, often deforming, scars.

Types of burns

Not all burns are the same. Actually, you stand a good possibility of receiving four different types of burns in a fiery car crash as follows:

  1. Thermal burns resulting from the fire’s flames or one of your car’s extremely hot surfaces burning you
  2. Electrical burns resulting from one of your car’s electrical wires or a downed power line burning you
  3. Chemical burns resulting from one of your car’s caustic fluids, such as antifreeze, steering fluid, transmission fluid, etc. burning you
  4. Scald burns resulting from one of your car’s hot liquids, such as gasoline or even spilled coffee, burning you

Degrees of burns

Burn experts categorize burns into four different degrees depending on their severity. First- and second-degree burns represent the least serious and damage only your skin. Usually these burns result from too much exposure to the sun. While your skin turns red and sometimes peels as the result of a first- or second-degree burn, they normally leave no permanent scaring or other damage. Unfortunately, however, fiery car crash victims seldom receive one of these least serious degrees of burns.

Car crashes almost invariably cause you to receive a third- or fourth-degree burn, both of which are life-threatening. A third-degree burn not only singes your skin, but also burns your tissues, muscles, tendons and nerves underneath your skin. A fourth-degree burn invades your body even further, extending down to your bones.

If you suffer any type of burn in a car crash, you should receive immediate emergency medical assistance and transport to the nearest hospital, preferably one with a burn unit. One of the most frightening aspects of third- and fourth-degree burns is that they may not cause you to feel immediate severe pain, so you may not realize the extent or seriousness of your injuries. The sinister reason for this, however, is because these burns go so deeply into your body that they usually severely damage the nerves that allow you to feel pain.

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