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Severe Burn Injuries Can Have Long-Term Psychological Effects

January 20, 2016 | Category: Burn Injuries

Particularly when they cover large portions of the body, burn injuries can be exceptionally painful and challenging to treat, even by highly-experienced trauma center staff. When assisting clients with claims pertaining to severe burns caused by other parties, each Los Angeles burn injury lawyer at our firm looks beyond the expenses incurred for immediate emergency treatment.

Even primary burn issues can require repeated medical treatments, not to mention the many potential physical complications that must be addressed over an extended time period. Just as important, these injuries also commonly result in severe psychological trauma that may not fully subside for the rest of a victim's life.

The Psychological Stages Associated With Severe Burn Injuries

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), patients with severe burns can suffer major psychological trauma at virtually any point in the physical treatment process, which can extend long after healing is complete. The Center cites the following stages that patients typically experience:

  • Resuscitative or critical stage: This is the early stage of treatment. In addition to experiencing intense pain, patients are uncertain about the potential outcome of their injuries, and they are commonly disoriented and confused. Although medical providers can focus on primary concerns, such as pain management, in-depth psychological support is of minimal value.
  • Acute stage: As longer-term in-hospital treatment continues, patients are more cognizant of their condition and they begin to experience psychological impact, largely in the form of depression and anxiety. At this point, they begin to grieve for their material loses caused by a fire. Most important, they mourn physical losses, which can include recognition that they may remain physically scarred or disabled and have essentially lost their former lives. At this point, treatment may include psychological counseling and drug intervention.
  • Long-term rehabilitation: Once burn victims leave the hospital, they begin a long journey toward reintegrating back into society. Even while they continue dealing with physical treatment and therapy, they now face extreme psychological issues as they deal with family reactions, change in body image, returning to work and countless other issues. Additional psychological counseling, along with support groups and possible job retraining programs are all possible treatments for this period, which can extend for a year for some. Others need some form of support for years to come.

Victims of Third-Party Negligence Need to Pursue Compensation for Physical and Psychological Treatment

Every burn injury case has unique aspects that make it virtually impossible to fully predict a patient's long-term physical and psychological treatment needs. However, when negligent or wrongful acts of others cause severe burns, victims need an accurate prediction in order to avoid paying out of pocket for expensive treatments.

It is essential to seek support from a law firm with extensive experience understanding the medical issues long-term treatment plan in order to help ensure that burn victims pursue the full value oftheir claims. To schedule a free-no-risk consultation, call The Rudman Law Firm APC at (844) 478-3626 / (844) 4RUDMAN, at our Los Angeles office at (213) 375-3777 or at our Studio City office (818) 769-6969.

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