Following a significant and catastrophic burn injury, a doctor may eventually recommend a skin graft to replace scarred tissue or help you heal properly (or as best as you are able to heal). Most victims of third-degree or higher burns develop extensive scarring that does not heal by itself.
First-degree burns generally heal within 10 to 20 days, unless there are complications with the healing process (e.g. an infection). These burns affect the epidermis (the outermost layer of the skin). Symptoms include pain and redness.
Second-degree burns may take more than 30 days to heal. A second-degree burn affects the dermis (the layer of skin under the epidermis). Symptoms vary and include pain, redness, and blisters.
Third-degree burns usually take months to heal. Third-degree burns harm skin tissue but also may damage bones, muscles, tendons, and nerve endings. Third-degree burns may require skin grafts.
Fourth-degree burns may never heal and result in damage to skin, internal tissues, muscles, and bones.
Skin Grafting (Generally)
Skin grafting is the process of taking skin tissue from an uninjured part of your body and using it to close a wound or repair damaged skin on another part of your body.
There are two types of skin grafts:
- Sheet grafts: These grafts are the smaller of the two types of grafts and are often placed over burns on the hands and face.
- Mesh grafts: Designed to cover large wounds. These grafts cover a larger area without losing elasticity or resilience.
Skin grafts are common after a significant burn injury and are overseen by a team of medical professionals with experience in burn care.
Skin Graft Risks
Aside from the general risks associated with anesthesia, people undergoing a skin graft procedure have a heightened risk of:
- Allergic reactions to medicines
- Problems with breathing
- Bleeding, blood clots, or infection
- Chronic pain (rarely)
- Loss of grafted skin (the graft not healing, or the graft healing slowly)
- Reduced or lost skin sensation, or increased sensitivity
- Skin discoloration
- Uneven skin surface
How Long Does it Take for Skin Grafts to Heal?
For partial thickness skin grafts, it usually takes about 2 weeks to heal.
For full-thickness skin grafts, it usually takes about 5 to 10 days to heal.
After the skin graft procedure, you will need to stay in the hospital in recovery. Once released from the hospital’s care, you should continue care for the grafted area by protecting the wound and getting physical therapy.
What Causes Burn Injuries?
- Refinery accidents
- Home or building explosions
- Industrial accidents
- Chemical plant accidents
- Welding accidents
- Oil Rig explosions and fires
- Maritime accidents
Am I entitled to Compensation for Burn Injuries?
Burn injuries can take months to heal. Some burn injuries never heal. Moreover, the lasting effects stemming from burn injuries can take months or years to identify (e.g. PTSD). Many burns require hospitalization and years of rehabilitation, skin grafts, and ongoing medical treatment for muscle and bone injuries.
Following a significant burn, victims are left with scars.
Morrow & Sheppard’s burn injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for your medical treatment. We’ll also help you recover from your lost income, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and disfigurement.
Ongoing medical treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Knowing that some employers try to get burn victims to sign the paperwork, while still in the hospital, accepting a modest amount of money in exchange for the promise not to bring a lawsuit. Do not sign anything until you have spoken to an attorney of your choosing!
The party that is responsible for your injury will be held liable for damages. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, this may be one company or many.
If you have been seriously burned at a refinery, on an oil field, on an offshore oil rig, or in an industrial accident, the burn injury lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard can help you get all the compensation that you are entitled to receive.
At Morrow & Sheppard LLP, we have handled more than a billion dollars on behalf of our clients throughout the United States with a focus in Texas, Louisiana, and New Mexico. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us today! You don’t pay us unless we win your case.