Thanks, in large part, to the work performed by the National Institutes of Health, burn victims, today, stand a much better chance of survival than they did forty years ago. Not much was known about how interconnected body systems are. Consequently, the links between burn injury and failure of organs in the body that didn’t seem affected by the burns were not recognized.
Back in the Day
In the middle of the 70s, the average number of people with fatal burn injuries was around 9,000 each year. This group included people with burns covering 20 percent of their bodies. It was almost a given that more than 20 percent was a death sentence.
There were few burn centers, so burn patients were treated in regular hospital settings. Organ failure was common, and so was infections, for people who managed to live through the initial trauma. Another fatal complication was acute respiratory distress syndrome.
Research Changed the Picture
Back then, statistics for burn injury victims was very grim. There was little known about how complex and interconnected organs and body parts are on a biochemical level. Research sponsored by the NIH and other entities began revealing new information about these systems and how they worked together.
Along with those findings, new approaches were found for fluid resuscitation. Better ways were found to clean the burn areas and skin replacement improved greatly. There were changes made to control infection and nutritional support was added to provide healing nutrients to the body.
What Burn Injury Recovery Looks like Today
Needless to say, intensive research, along with new technology and more efficient and effective techniques in treating burn victims, turned the field around considerably. There are fewer burn victims these days, and they have a much higher survival rate.
There are specialized burn centers across the nation. Now, more than 50 percent of burn victims receive treatment in these facilities. Before, people with as little as 20 percent of their body covered in burns were more likely to die. Today, a burn injury can cover as much as 90 percent of the body and the person has a chance of survival. In these extreme cases, there will most likely be permanent impairments, but the person may live. Statistics for burn injury patients look very different now.
The Research Continues on Burn Injury
Burn injury patients, today, have a considerably higher chance of surviving than ever before. Continuing research is constantly pushing survival rates higher for burn victims. Researchers are developing ways to increase the speed at which damaged tissue heals, finding ways of growing cells in the laboratory for wound treatment and understanding more, every day, about how the body heals from trauma.
Traumatic injuries can alter not just the life of the person with the injury but those around them as well. At Frohlich, Gordon & Beason, P.A., we specialize in personal injury law. If you or a loved one has experienced a personal injury and are seeking legal help, contact us at (941) 979-9010. We will work toward getting you fair compensation. We have offices located in Port Charlotte, North Port, and Englewood, to conveniently serve southwestern Florida. The first consultation is complimentary.