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Burn Injuries and Recovery

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Burn Injuries and Recovery

Brent Runyon breathed hard as he draped the bathrobe that reeked of gasoline over his shoulders; he lit the match. Fourteen year-old Brent has attempted suicide before. This time, in The Burn Journals, the recovery will affect him for a long time (Runyon). Most severe burn patients, like Brent, are in a recovery process for a year or more. They endure many surgeries as well as skin grafts. Brent has a long hard road to recovery ahead of him, physically and mentally.

Burn injuries are caused by fire scalding water, hot surfaces, excessive heat, chemicals, electricity, or the sun. There are two different ways of classifying the burns. They can be called minor, moderate, and major, based on the percentage of damaged skin there is. Also, burns are classified by first, second, third, and fourth degree buns. This is chosen by the severity of the burned area, not the amount of area.

First-degree burns are not major burns. They are caused by simple burns like touching a hot pan. Also you can get them from brief contact with something hot like water or fire. These burns will not cause blistering or any charred skin. The only thing that could really happen would be skin that was a little raised, or it could result in small welts.

Second-degree burns cause swelling and blisters to begin forming. Also, they cause lots of stinging pain. The blisters will stay there for three to four days. The burn should clear up in about two or three weeks. Brent experiences only some of these burns ("Burn").

Third-degree burns can either be very painful or you don't feel anything depending on where you are burned. No blisters are formed; skin is charred and you can see blood vessels. This type of burn goes past the epidermis, the top layer of the skin, and can go to the muscle. This can damage nerve endings, causing you to not have feeling there.

The worst burn you can get is a fourth-degree burn. This burn goes past the epidermis and, in some cases, goes through the muscle and to the bone. Feeling is in some places but not in others like the third-degree burn. There is permanent damage to the part that is affected. The burned area will most likely not function any more ("Burn"). If there are fourth-degree burns on any victim, skin grafting is imperative to save the area ("Injury: Burns and Scalds") Brent does have some fourth-degree burns.

Burn injuries can happen in less than ten seconds but can result in long recovery. "Serious burn victims [...] can expect to endure multiple surgeries over the next several months followed by a rehabilitation period that could continue for a year or more" (Colliver). Brent learns this lesson the hard way when he receives treatment for a year and a half. He goes through lots of therapy and definitely does not enjoy himself.

People that have serious burn injuries can expect a long recovery that can be very painful. There



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