In February 2011, the burn unit at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia held its annual reunion for burn trauma patients in conjunction with National Burn Prevention Month. Recovering from a burn can take several weeks or more than a year of acute care and outpatient treatment, so patients rely on and get to know their doctors and nurses very well. A reunion helps both patients and hospital staff reconnect and celebrate progress toward the full return to regular life.
Burn injuries come from structure fires, cooking grease, hot and boiling water, and stove or oven lights and burners. Jay Collins, a burn and trauma surgeon at Sentara Norfolk, told the Virginian-Pilot that the majority of patients who suffer serious burns are children. A common scenario is when a curious toddler gets scalded when parents or caregivers are distracted and the youngster reaches for a pot of hot liquid or is heat with steam from a microwaved dish. The resulting injury can be serious, with second- and third-degree burns to the head, hands, arms and upper body.
This reminds me of a case on which I recently began working. A young boy was injured when a hotel negligently located the coffee pot in the hotel room of my client’s parents. The child was doing what any other 2-year-old does, playing on the floor and running around. Unbeknownst to the parents, the coffee pot was propped up in such a way that it would fall over the minute someone came near it. That is exactly what happened. The sweet little boy did suffered serious burns to his arm when hot coffee covered him, and he required significant treatment at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. This story makes me so angry. It was so obvious after the fact that hotel staff was being lazy when they positioned the coffee pot in such a haphazard way.
When someone is burned in an accident, the victim or their family members may need to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit with the assistance of Virginia accident lawyers to recover losses from the responsible parties.
About the Editors: The Shapiro, Cooper, Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm, which has offices in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina (NC), edits the injury law blogs Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as pro bono services.