Fire has been associated with 3 different types of inhalation injuries. More than a hundred known toxic substances are present in fire smoke. When inhalation injuries are combined with external burns the chance of death can increase significantly. The three types of inhalation injuries are:
- Damage from Heat Inhalation: True lung burn occurs only if you directly breathe in a hot air/flame source, or have high pressure force the heat into you. In most cases, thermal injury is confined to the upper airways, because the trachea usually shields the lung from thermal loads. However, secondary airway involvement can occur after inhalation of steam as it has a greater thermal capacity than dry air. When hot air enters the nose, damage to the mucous membranes can readily transpire as the upper airway acts as a cooling chamber.
- Damage from Systemic Toxins: Systemic Toxins affect our ability to absorb oxygen. If someone is found unconscious or acting confused in the surroundings of an enclosed fire, systemic toxins could be a possible cause. Toxin poisoning can cause permanent damage to organs including the brain. Carbon Monoxide poisoning can appear symptom-less up until the point where the victim falls into a coma.
- Damage from Smoke Inhalation: Smoke intoxication is frequently hidden by more visible injuries such as burns as a result of fire. In a disaster situation can lead to not receiving the medical attention needed, due to the rescue teams taking care of the more apparent patients. Patients that appear apparently unharmed can collapse due to major smoke inhalation, 60% to 80% of fatalities resulting from burn injuries can be attributed to smoke inhalation.
According to the National Fire Protection Association survey, in 1997, 4,675 Firefighters suffered burn injuries as a result of performing their assigned duties, of which 3,770 also suffered inhalation injuries.
A burn accident can take place almost anywhere and can happen when you least expect it. Did you know that every 19 seconds a local fire department is responding to an emergency fire call somewhere in the United States ? Burn accident statistics show that the most vulnerable victims of these incidents are children under 5 and elderly individuals over 65.
Many burn injury victims have suffered their injuries as a result of defective products or improperly maintained property. As a consequence of such negligence, some have spent years in a painful rehabilitation process and going through reconstructive surgeries in an attempt to rebuild their lives. If your life has been affected by such an injury, our experienced burn injury attorneys will fight to help you get the compensation you deserve. Medical treatment can be extremely expensive and unless an attorney is highly experienced with these burn injury cases, they might not understand all the medical costs involved. Call a highly experienced New York burn injury attorney today and let us help you like we’ve helped others that have been in a situation similar to yours. Consultations are always free, there are no up front fees, and you pay only if we win your case. Call now to schedule your free consultation.