Burns are something we don’t think about much. Though these are among the most common, the most damaging, and the most everlasting of injuries. And actually, it costs a lot over a long period of time, so much so that it is often as costly as any chronic disease, depending on the extent of the injury.
The types of burns are as follows:
• Superficial or 1st degree burn: The burns we all get now and then in our daily course, it heals well and fast. This affects only the epidermis.
• Superficial partial thickness or 2nd degree: These burns because blisters, and can cause cellulitis. These do heal soon, and affect the superficial or papillary dermis.
• Deep partial thickness which is still a 2nd degree burn: The treatment can take some money depending on the extent of the injury. An underprivileged person may require crowdfunding to go for things like skin grafting and excision. This kind of burns extends deep into the reticular epidermis.
• Full thickness or 3rd degree burn: this is among the really serious burn and recovery takes months, if at all. There are scarring and contractures, and extreme cases need amputation. This is where crowdfunding comes in with full force. The burn injury extends through the entire dermis.
• 4th degree burn: this type of burn is the most serious of all and can cause anything from considerable functional impairments to amputation. In the worst of cases, this kind of burn causes death. This kind of burn causes life-long damage even if there is survival. It extends through the entire skin, into the underlying fat, muscle and the bone.
Burning as a social problem
The causes of burns can be thermal, chemical, electrical, radiation, and non-accidental. The last reason is probably the most serious of all. 3-4% of the people who are hospitalized worldwide are victims of assault. The assault can range from anything like personal disputes, child abuse (a disturbing number of which are burn cases), elder abuse, spousal abuse (India has a long-standing tradition of this), business disputes, etc.
The most popular among these, child abuse and spousal abuse, are increasingly getting media coverage, and finally there is a public discourse to address these. For example, child abuse is often identified by immersion injuries, mostly being done on hot water.
These burns are uniform and symmetrical and of uniform depth, and are often known as sock burns and zebra burns, which can be found at the extremities which are the easiest to hit. Such children are often found to display other signs of abuse such as malnutrition, emotional trauma, etc. there are often other signs of burns as well, such as cigarette burns and even burns caused by instruments at the unlikeliest of places.
Burn injuries during abuse are often gender-specific, with such burns being caused in a much higher frequency in the girl child, and later women. Even in the case of accidental burns, the pattern is gendered. Women are frequently burned off by the husband and/or his family for dowry-related causes.
Then there are the acid burns, which are alarmingly on the rise in India. The relative difficulty to catch the perpetrator is what motivates a large number of people to use acid to attack victims.
All these things combined together, burning is more significant as a social problem than as something accidental. The cost of the operations depends on the extent of the injury and the kind of treatment that is required. Also, not all hospitals and doctors are equipped to deal with burn injuries. A serious burn is always an emergency, and many economically underprivileged people lose out on their lives because of the lack of infrastructure, most importantly being money.
Finally, a burn injury, especially those belonging to the latter degrees, cause life-long damage, meaning that the patient requires life-long care. Many people lose out on their faculties, organs, nerves, etc. with burns, and especially if the burn is the result of abuse, aftercare becomes non-existent.
For such people, the only way out would be some fund to take care of the essential requirements at least.
All this can be arranged for with the help of the crowdfunding sites in India. It should not really be a problem, considering that these platforms are really user-friendly and have a wide reach.
The issue can be approached in a number of ways- it can be an emergency crowdfunding initiative, it can be a crowdfunding campaign for someone who had sustained burn injuries a long time back, and it can be an initiative by a non-profit for a group of individuals who are struggling with burn damages. Whatever be it, burn injuries require more attention in the crowdfunding platforms than they currently garner at present.