Those involved in substance impaired driving crashes often suffer burn injuries. Burns can be both physically and psychologically devastating. Despite removal from or extinction of the fire, the burn victim/survivor remains in immediate danger. Depending upon the size and degree of the burn injury there is now the risk of respiratory failure and shock. Shock is a physiological response
to trauma and a life-threatening condition. Shock reduces blood flow to vital organs and affects a person’s blood pressure, heart rate, respirations, as well as state of consciousness. Shock may also account for a victim/survivor’s inability to recall details of a crash. Fortunately, survival and mortality rates
After a crash, shock is a secondary life- threatening situation.
have improved substantially as a direct result of medical advancements. However, these advancements often include painful and sometimes life-long medical procedures. With survival comes a need for support and information to cope with the physical, emotional, and psychological issues that remain with the physical scars. Individuals involved in a substance impaired driving crash who have suffered burn injuries may not recall feelings of panic, fear, or anxiety. Many crash victims/ survivors report recognizing the need to get out or away from the fire and after doing so, remember little else about the event. Some only remember vague details such as smells and images. Others may describe the experience as terrifying. Classification and Diagnoses Burns are generally caused when skin makes direct contact with flames, chemicals, electricity, or radiation. Thermal burns are burns caused by intense external sources of heat, such as flames, scalding liquids, or steam. Burns resulting from a For more information about burn injury visit the American Burn Association at www.ameriburn.org
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