2.4 million burn injuries are reported every year in the United States, including 20,000 major burns that affect more than one-quarter of the victim’s body surface. About 10,000 Americans die from burns, and one million more suffer serious permanent disabilities from their burn injuries.
Burn injuries are second only to motor vehicle accidents as the leading cause of accidental death in the U.S.
Burns are classified by their severity:
- First degree. Minor burns which affect only the first layer of skin.
- Second degree. Relatively superficial burns which affect both the first layer of skin and the one just below it.
- Third degree. These are the most severe burns, as they injure all the layers of skin as well as the underlying tissue.
Severe burn injuries are extraordinarily painful and they may require multiple skin grafts. They often leave the victims with permanent scars and other disfigurement.