Latest Developments in Treatment of Burn Injuries
We try to keep current on the latest legal and technology trends and medical treatments. While doing so, we found an article recently identifying cutting-edge treatments for burn injuries. We had our colleague, Brendan, review it as follows.
Non-Invasive Burn Injury Assessment, Near 100% Accuracy?
In recent years, much attention has been drawn to the ever-evolving capabilities of artificial intelligence and neural networks. These programs can tout the uncanny ability to mimic iconic art styles, write essays, pass business and law school exams (CNN), and now, serve as a life-saving diagnostic tool?
Severe burn injuries are difficult to experience, difficult to treat, and oftentimes difficult to diagnose, due to the severe damage that they can inflict on flesh and tissue. Different types of burn injuries will be diagnosed based upon different complex criteria.
Before, only between 60-75% of burn injury diagnoses were believed to be accurate, according to a new review and research article released by Optica Publishing Group in their journal, Biomedical Optics Express. But that same journal highlights a revelatory algorithmic breakthrough in burn injury diagnostics, one which could potentially assess such injuries with near-perfect accuracy.
This breakthrough has the potential to be a revelatory development for treating burn injuries. It can also impact claims seeking justice for the negligence that often causes burn injuries. Since personal injury law is a practice area that commonly involves an intersection of the two, let’s explore what these breakthroughs could mean for both.
Better Diagnostics, Better Healing
Healthcare workers primarily have two ways to evaluate and diagnose the depth of a burn injury. First, visual eyeballing. Second, accompanying tactile examination.
These methods haven’t always had the most reliable accuracy. It can be difficult to visually assess and diagnose the severity of a burn. Assessing he severity of a burn injury is not the only difficulty. It can also be tough to discern the projected pathway(s) to healing from a severe burn after the skin, nerve endings, and muscle tissue suffered extensive damage. Medicine is always evolving, though.
More elaborate technologies have been developed to assist burn injury diagnostics in the past, but cost barriers have prevented them from entering wider circulation in clinical settings. But the researchers who partnered with Optica in their newly-released study (published January 30th, 2023) may have found a solution to past diagnostic problems. A solution that is both more cost effective, and clinically effective!.
Utilizing a handheld scanner in tandem with a machine learning neural network, the researchers conducted a study involving two pigs, an animal that has surprising anatomical similarities with humans.
(If you’re curious about those similarities, you can read this guide from Goshen College)
Using their own experimental machine learning tools, this research team was able to diagnose and evaluate the severity of burn injuries with unparalleled accuracy. On average, the algorithm was able to estimate the severity of burn injuries with 84.5% accuracy, and predict the projected wound-healing process with 93% accuracy.
Ultimately, we need further testing. It will be interested to see if we can use this machine-learning assisted spectroscopic imaging tech in a wider clinical setting. But we can’t deny that the early results look extremely promising. If their efforts are successful, they could be on to a major legal and medical breakthrough.
For example, if this project is successful in the long term, it could be used to:
- Enhance diagnostic accuracy;
- Develop better treatment plans;
- Improve treatment outcomes; and
- Maximize lawsuit outcomes.
The Latest Treatments Can Impact Recovery in Legal Claims
Burn injuries can range from mild to catastrophic. Cases of the latter can inflict serious damages, physical and psychological, economic and non-economic. Commonly (far too commonly), these catastrophic burn injuries can result from someone else’s negligence, whether on the job, or behind the wheel.
An attorney who specializes in dealing with these sorts of cases will want to source from multiple points of evidence to prove liability, discern who’s at fault, and effectively argue for the burn injury settlement amounts their clients deserve. If this artificial intelligence aided technology is successful, it could serve as another vital source of evidence, and another invaluable weapon in a personal injury lawyer’s fight for justice.
It is Important to Capture Past and Future Medical Expenses in Burn Injury Cases.
Full-thickness burns can be costly, and will often require extensive surgical interventions and medication use to treat. Medical expenses will usually be the biggest cost incurred by a full-thickness burn. That said, it’s important to not overlook the other serious costs that can be incurred by severe burn injuries, including:
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- A lowered quality of life
If negligence led to your full-thickness burn, your personal injury attorney will want to examine all of these costs in their totality. Furthermore, they may want to calculate each to determine the best settlement amount.
Recent burn injury statistics have pegged the global mean treatment cost per patient around $88,218 (Iran J. Public Health), but some estimates approximate that lifetime treatment costs could top over $1.6 million!
After your negligence-related burn injury is diagnosed and treated, you consult an experienced attorney who knows what it takes to recover these enormous costs.
KBA is Here to Help with Burn Injuries
The attorneys at KBA have handled burn injury cases. Combining our experience in medical devices with our work with clients with serious burn and electric shock injuries, we bring compassion and experience. We also often work with other law firms to bring lawsuits against large companies in complex cases. So we are here to help.
This post is informational. We do not advocate stopping medical treatment without speaking with a medical provider. Nonetheless, if you have had burn injuries after use of a heating pad, speak with your physician and contact an attorney to explore your options. Personal injury attorneys such as those at KBA Attorneys have decades of experience navigating the many intricacies of