Surviving Injury

substance impaired driving crash are usually thermal burns. Skin is the largest organ of the body. It prevents infection from entering the body and it limits the loss of important fluids. Once a victim and survivor with burn injuries is identified and stabilized, the burn team begins to assess and classify the injuries.

Skin is the largest organ of the human body.

Burns are assessed by their size in relation to the entire body and by their depth. They are rated according to how many layers of skin are damaged. A first degree burn involves the top layer of skin called the epidermis. First degree burns are labeled superficial and the body can heal itself quickly by creating new, healthy cells in a process called epithelialization. First degree burns are often caused by sunburn or scalds, appear pink to red, can be painful with swelling, and typically leave no scarring. Second degree burns involve the epidermis and the second layer of skin called the dermis. The dermis contains blood vessels, lymph vessels, hair follicles, oil glands, and sweat glands. Second degree burns can range from superficial to partial thickness depending upon the extent of the damage. Skin takes on an intense red color with splotchy appearance and is accompanied by blisters, severe pain, and swelling. The body can heal from second degree burns through epithelialization or a process called contraction. Contraction happens when the burn is deeper and the skin cannot heal with epithelialization. The body closes the wound by drawing on the surrounding skin, or contracting. Scarring and thickening frequently occur and healing can take up to six months. Because of these factors, doctors often recommend skin grafts for second degree burns. Third and fourth degree burns involve all layers of the skin and are referred to as full thickness burns. Full thickness burns destroy all of the epidermis and dermis, as well as nerves, hair, glands, and vessels. Third and fourth degree burns may have a black charred appearance or look white and dry. Fourth degree burns extend into muscle and bone. Because of the nerve damage caused by third and fourth degree, burns may result in

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