Explosions can inflict some of the most serious types of burn injuries. With explosions, victims usually sustain a host of other serious, disfiguring, or fatal injuries. Whenever someone is hurt by an explosion, immediate medical attention is critical. While awaiting paramedics to arrive, bystanders should focus on first-aid measures and taking steps to prevent the victim from going into shock.
What are some common sources of explosions?
Explosions are not generally a common occurrence (except in areas of combat), although the workplace can present a lot of hazards that put people at risk for explosions and preventable fatalities.
In 2014, an estimated 84 workers were killed on the job in workplace explosions, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Workers in various types of occupations are much more susceptible to explosion accidents than others. Farm workers, for instance, are routinely exposed to chemicals, machinery, and stored crops that may be at risk of exploding.
The same applies for mill workers, miners, firefighters, construction workers, and oil refinery workers. Any vocation that involves chemicals, machinery, explosives, gases, or flames is obviously much riskier than others, but those elements are not even necessary for explosions and burns to occur. People are injured from explosions from all kinds of sources, including the following.
- Gas grills
- E-cigarettes (vapes)
- Gas leaks
What types of symptoms and effects does an explosion burn have?
Explosions are so dangerous and destructive because they have the potential to inflict multi-system, life-threatening injuries. They actually cause four levels of injury, only the last of which involve burns.
- Primary injuries – Lung problems, ruptured ears, concussion from the initial pressurization wave.
- Secondary injuries – Blunt injuries and eye penetration from flying debris.
- Tertiary injuries – Fractures, amputation, and head injuries from being thrown about.
- Quaternary injuries – Other complications, including burns, crush injuries, and angina.
Explosion burns can also lead to amputation, loss of vision and hearing, and scarring and disfigurement. The burns from the explosion may be second-, third-, or fourth-degree in severity. Charred skin, pain, blistering, and other burn symptoms are common. Also, victims and their caregivers should not overlook the psychological damage of a being involved in an explosion. Victims are at risk for shock, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other long-term psychological effects after living through an explosion.
How are explosion injuries treated?
Explosion victims will need emergency medical attention. As you are waiting for help to arrive, you can run cool water over the burn to ease the pain. If the injury is severe, put pressure on any wounds that are bleeding and put the victim in shock position (lying down with feet elevated above the level of the heart and brain) if possible.
The ER will have the important – and difficult – task of triaging the patient’s injuries. They have to stabilize the patient, determine if there are any toxins or chemical contamination to address, and then tend to each of the individual injuries.
Is there anything else about explosion burns that I should know?
Understanding how your burn occurred may be an important factor to consider. Explosions are not happenstance; there is usually a defective piece of equipment or a circumstance that went wrong.
Sometimes, a homeowner misuses the propane tank when grilling, for example. Or a homeowner might incorrectly repair a gas line in the home, leading to a gas leak. But in other cases, faulty equipment might be to blame. Or an employer may fail to correctly repair a gas leak, leading to an explosion.
If you or your loved one was injured by an explosion, look into your legal options. You may be able to recuperate the cost of your medical bills, lost time at work, emotional pain and suffering, and other losses.
If you have specific questions about your accident or burn injury, our lawyer referral specialists can help you find a lawyer who can help you evaluate your case and pursue compensation. Call us today at 844-549-8774.