The fires ignited in Northern California on the windy night of October 8, 2017 killed 43 people and left several burn victims who face long painful recoveries. The wine country burn victims were taken to the Bothin Burn Center at St. Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco and U.C. Davis Medical Center in Sacramento; both regional burn centers. The most severe burns are third-degree burns that go through all the layers of skin and sometimes into the subcutaneous fat and underlying muscle. The skin traps pressure inside that must be relieved by an incision called an escharotomy preventing limbs from bursting like an overcooked sausage.
Later, surgeons mount skin graft surgeries to remove scorched tissue before taking skin from other parts of the patient’s body. The skin from a healthy donor site on the patient is shaved enough to allow skin to grow back and the recovered skin is grafted to the burn site where it develops roots that grow back to the tissue underneath. Patients cannot receive skin donated from other people.
Burns are the most extreme of all injuries causing immense pain and long recoveries because burns heal slowly. Severe burns affect all of the body’s organs and immune system exposing the patient to potential deadly problems including staph infection, sepsis, pneumonia and blood and urine infections. The general rule is that burn patients will be hospitalized one day for every one percent of their bodies burned. After leaving the hospital, burn victims face strenuous physical therapy and long rehabilitation recoveries.
The lawyers at the Van Blois Law in Oakland, California have represented persons badly burned in other cases and hope that the victims make a good recovery from their burns received in the recent fire storm.