Burn Injuries: What Are Most Common Causes

Burn injuries are a very serious problem and are more commonplace across the country than you may think The American Burn Association estimates that as many as 500,000 injuries take place annually across the United States alone. The survival rate is somewhat encouraging at about 94% but a burn injury is no light matter. Any burn victim will tell you it’s one of the most painful experiences to live through.

Medical professionals who have spent time with patients suffering catastrophic burn injuries that they are one of the most devastating types of injuries that can occur. An external injury of this nature takes place when the skin is exposed to intense heat coming from fire, electricity, chemicals or even radiation. Internal burn injuries can be caused by inhaling harmful fumes like heated gas or by swallowing hot liquids or even through electric shock. The intensity of a burn usually depends on how deep it is and how much tissue has been damaged. Burn injuries if serious enough can damage not only the three main layers of our skin but also muscles, blood vessels, and even our bones.

According to the American Burn Association the most common causes of burn injuries are as follows:

  • Contact with an open fire or flame: 46%
  • Scalding and resulting injuries including from steam, hot water, spilled coffee, and other hot liquids: 32%
  • Thermal burns through contact with hot objects like ovens and clothing irons: 8%
  • Electrical burns: 4%
  • Chemic burns: 3%
  • The remainder is divided between minor causes including sunburn, fireworks, inhalation.

According to research by the association men are a more likely victim comprising 70% of all cases. A whopping 70% of all accidents associated with these injuries take place at home with 17% on the road, 8% at work, and 32% everywhere else

Source: American Burn Association 2007 http://www.ameriburn.org/resources_factsheet.php Burn Incidence and Treatment Fact Sheet.

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