Burn overview

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]

Overview

A burn is an injury caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction.[1][2] Burns can be highly variable in terms of the tissue affected, the severity, and resultant complications. Muscle, bone, blood vessel, and epidermal tissue can all be damaged with subsequent pain due to profound injury to nerve endings. Depending on the location affected and the degree of severity, a burn victim may experience a wide number of potentially fatal complications including shock, infection, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress.[3] Beyond physical complications, burns can also result in severe psychological and emotional distress due to scarring and deformity.

References

  1. Burns MedlinePlus Accessed February 25, 2008
  2. Burns Topic Overview WebMD Accessed February 27, 2008
  3. A review of the complications of burns, their origin and importance for illness and death - Abstract J Trauma. 1979 May;19(5):358-69. Accessed February 27, 2008



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