Catastrophic Injuries: Managing Severe Burn Claims

Paradigm − March 20, 2018 − filed under Burn Injury

According to the American Burn Association, there are approximately 600,000 burn injuries annually in the United States, and roughly 15-20% of those injuries are work related.

Employees working with high voltage power lines, toxic chemicals, and hazardous materials are especially at risk for these complex injuries that can involve long hospital stays, infections, reconstructive surgeries, and damage to internal organs.

A wide range of complications can further delay the desired medical outcomes and substantially increase the cost of these claims.  A concentrated approach to care management can minimize many of these risks and support the individual person’s achievement of the optimal medical outcome.  

The initial step is to develop a comprehensive plan that addresses everything from acute stabilization of the injury to the projected level of recovery.  The plan should be informed by best practice data, include contingency plans to decrease complicating events, and effectively manage patient-specific comorbid conditions.  

The most important factor in managing a severe burn is sending the injured party to a specialized burn center with the capability of implementing their specific comprehensive care plan. The 127 facilities verified by the American Burn Association offer the best opportunity to integrate all the required elements of care: specialist physicians, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, nutritionists, and psychologists.

Lastly, involved medical case managers should be supported by physicians to work collaboratively with the Burn Center and the injured person’s family.  Case managers can help ensure the care plan is well-coordinated, especially after the injured person leaves the hospital when therapy, follow-up appointments, and treatment of psychological and pain issues will continue.  

Severe burns require comprehensive care.  Depending on the severity, virtually every system in the body can be affected.  Learn more about treating severe burns and catastrophic injuries by visiting our website and connecting with our online communities through our blog, Facebook  and Twitter.

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