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When a car crash results in catastrophic burns

Hawaii may be the land of paradise, but car crashes still happen all too frequently. Whether you are a resident or a tourist, a fiery car crash can leave you with catastrophic injuries, the effects of which could haunt you for the remainder of your life.

When it comes to your suffering life-threatening burns in a motor vehicle accident, unfortunately your car, even if you drive an SUV or other relatively large vehicle, provides the location for a perfect storm of factors to coalesce. For instance, you face the likelihood of receiving four distinct types of burns as follows:

  1. Thermal burns when parts of your body come into contact with either the flames or one of your vehicle’s exceedingly hot surfaces
  2. Scald burns when parts of your body come into contact with one or more of your vehicle’s heated liquids, including gasoline or even spilled coffee
  3. Chemical burns when parts of your body come into contact with one or more of your vehicle’s corrosive fluids, including transmission fluid, antifreeze, steering fluid, etc.
  4. Electrical burns when parts of your body come into contact with one or more of your vehicle’s electrical wires or, if you hit a power pole, a downed electrical line

Burn seriousness

You already know that you should protect your body with sun screen and/or sun blocker whenever you go to your Hawaiian pool or beach. This protects you from the sun’s rays giving you a first- or second-degree burn that affects only the top layers of your skin. What you probably fail to realize, however, is that the burns you receive in a fiery car crash are far more serious than these.

Both third- and fourth-degree burns pose a threat to your life. A third-degree burn will not only burn your skin, but will also burn the muscles, nerves, tendons and tissues underneath your skin. The most serious burns, fourth-degree ones, burn all the way down into your bones.

As gruesome as this sounds, and is, the truly frightening thing about third- and fourth-degree burns is that you may not even realize how severe your injuries are. Why? Because, as stated, these burns injure your nerves, and it is your nerves that allow you to feel pain.

You should always receive immediate emergency medical assistance any time you suffer a burn in a car crash. Only a trained trauma specialist can assess your injuries and begin appropriate treatment. Even then, you could be left with permanent disfiguring scars.

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