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What factors determine the severity of a burn injury?

On Behalf of | Nov 8, 2019 | Firm News |

A severe burn injury in Georgia can have long-lasting repercussions for both you and your family. You may experience emotional and psychological issues in addition to physical problems that can include scarring, disfigurement, loss of limbs or recurrent infections.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, there are multiple factors that can affect the severity of a burn. These include the patient’s age, the percentage of the body burned and the depth of the burn.


While a serious burn injury is always a cause for concern, it can be particularly dangerous for members of the older population. Recovery from a burn may be more difficult for the elderly, who may be at greater risk for death as a result. Additionally, elderly people may be more likely to have other medical conditions that can further complicate burn recovery, such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes or heart disease.


One of the most important factors that determines burn severity is how deeply it penetrates beneath the surface of the skin. This is what people are talking about when they describe first-, second- or third-degree burns. A first-degree burn is a superficial injury that extends no more deeply than the outermost layer of skin. Though painful, first-degree burns are superficial and usually heal completely with no long-term adverse effects.

Second-degree burns are also called partial-thickness burns because they extend past the outermost layer of skin but do not affect all the layers. Third-degree burns affect all the skin layers and sometimes the tissues underneath, making them the most severe. Another name for third-degree burns is full-thickness burns.

Percentage of affected body surface area 

Even a deep burn may be somewhat less severe if it only affects a relatively small area of the body. The more of the surface area of the body that the burn affects, the more severe the injury is.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.