The majority of people are aware of burns to the external portions of a person’s body. We all know that they are measured in degrees (usually 1-3 but also 1-6 for more harsh burns) and can leave painful scarring. Many people also know that it is possible to receive chemical burns, electrical burns, sunburns, and scalding burns. What many people don’t realize is that it is also possible to receive internal burns.
Just like the skin, a variety of internal organs can be burned due to exposure to extreme heat, electricity, or chemicals. These burns are typically very serious as they affect organs that are already less equipped to deal with damage than the skin is. Commonly injured internal organs include the esophagus and lungs. It is possible to burn other organs in addition.
When smoke or some other hot air substance is inhaled, it is capable of burning the complete respiratory system. This can be because someone inhaled steam, was caught in a burning building, or just got a little too close to something burning. When this happens, the lungs are damaged and the individual is faced with a very painful recovery course of action.
Chemical burns can do the same thing. The difference being that the chemical is capable of eroding the organ, instead of just hurting it. For this reason, a lot of household products have very serious labels on them with instructions concerning what to do if the cleaner is swallowed. Acids, like those found in drain opener, can eliminate not just a person’s esophagus but also the stomach and intestines.
Electricity can also burn the inside of a person’s body if a high enough voltage is administered. Lightning is a cause of this in many instances. If the voltage is high enough, electricity can burn not only the external skin on a person but also the organs on the inside. In addition, electricity can permanently damage organs that are necessary for life. This includes creating arrhythmias in the heart in addition as messing up the nervous system. The nervous system can be damaged by electricity because it works on tiny impulses going from nerve to nerve. A large volt of electricity by the body, basically, overloads the system.
As a general rule, it is much more difficult to treat internal burns. While the exterior of a person’s body may look ok, the internal damage can be much greater.