Life Care Planning for Burns & Electrical Injuries
Every year in the United States, on average, about half a million people are treated in emergency rooms and hospitals for burns. Still more are treated at private clinics and other locations. 5 percent of burn injuries in the U.S. are due to electrical injuries. “There are also at least 30,000 shock incidents per year which are non-fatal.” Unfortunately, I have seen many burns and electrical injuries in my work in life care planning and as a doctor of physical medicine.
These types of incidents tend to present with complex and serious injuries. These include immediate musculoskeletal injuries which sometimes go on to heal, often along with neurological injuries which can last a lifetime. With very serious electrical injuries, there are cognitive effects as well. Brain injuries can present with memory loss and mental deficits.
Then there are the orthopedic injuries. For adults, the majority of electrical injuries occur in an occupational setting. Someone ascending a ladder or a power pole can come into contact with live wires. They can be thrown quite far, resulting in broken bones and paralysis. Finally, there is skin and soft tissue damage along with direct nerve injuries.
As you can imagine, all of these factors and the potential ramifications of an electrical injury make management extremely complex. A Life Care Planner must take into account the need to incorporate the expertise of multiple specialties. It is imperative that we understand the nature and complexity of the damage that has been done. The injured party will need a team of caregivers; likely for the remainder of their lives.
This is a good reason to recruit a life care planner who is a doctor. They will know what they are doing and have some experience with burns and electrical incidents. They will also be capable of having higher-level conversations on the subject thanks to their knowledge in directly treating these conditions.
Many times when I have worked on cases which included burns and electrical injuries, a vocational expert was retained. This is because these types of injuries often affect a person’s ability to return to work (or drastically shortens their work life length.) One of my patients was injured working at home, doing maintenance tasks. Another was on the job and touched a live wire while up on a ladder.
It should be noted that if you or someone you know are dealing with burns or an electrical injury, a life care planner should be an immediate call. In addition to providing our own services, most experienced LCPs know vocational experts and other specialists. We can assist in getting you the care and the assessments you need to move forward.
To learn more about the work the BiFulco Medical Group does with burn injuries click here, or call my office at (813) 521-7943 to schedule an evaluation.