When a motorcycle accident results in third-degree burn injuries—whether from contact with hot parts on the bike, a chemical spill or road rash—damage can be done to not only the skin but the deepest layers of tissue.
Severe burn injuries can cause swelling, infection, and shock. Whenever there is missing or damaged skin, it must be replaced, which is done through a skin graft for the burn.
Overview of Skin Grafting as a Burn Injury Treatment
Skin is taken from another part of the person’s body or donor skin is used in this procedure. Before the graft can be done, the damaged area must be thoroughly cleansed. Oftentimes there is debris embedded, such as gravel or tiny pebbles, which must be removed.
Debridement is another part of the process, which is where dead tissue is also removed. Blood vessels are constricted in order to stop the flow of blood into the injured area.
Burns that damage the epidermis (outer layer of skin) and some of the dermis (middle layer) will require a split-thickness skin graft. It generally takes several days for healing. Full-thickness skin grafts are for more severe burns, where both layers of the skin are significantly damaged. These are more complicated and take longer to heal.
The donated skin is placed over the burn. The graft is held in place with dressing or sutures. Dressing covers the area in order to prevent infection. Sometimes there are still complications that patients may experience, such as the graft failing because of infection, swelling or improper preparation of the wound.
Although there are certainly physical issues to consider when someone has sustained a burn injury in a motorcycle accident, oftentimes there is also psychological trauma as well. It’s not uncommon for patients to suffer from depression or other forms of mental trauma as a result of a traumatic accident.