While people typically think of burns being only from touching something hot or being shocked, it is possible to be burned internally as well. While less common, these burn injuries are just as devastating to a person.
Internal burns can occur whenever a person inhales something very hot or a particularly corrosive chemical is in the air. Smoke from a fire is frequently hot enough to burn the lungs. In addition, people struck by lightning can have electrical burns to their internal organs. As a result of inhaling a dangerous vapor or chemical, a person can burn the lining of their esophagus, trachea, and lungs. This makes internal burns very difficult to treat.
Because internal burns are not visible, they are difficult to treat. In some instances, the full extent of an internal burn is not known. Internal electrical burns can permanently scar vital internal organs. Chemical burns to the trachea and lungs can permanently damage a person’s lungs.
Internal burns are also very painful. For this reason, a person with severe internal burns will frequently be kept in a medically induced coma to allow the organs to heal. One of the problems with internal burns is that the internal organs are less equipped to handle the damage caused by the burn.
As a general rule, it is much harder to recover from internal burns. While a person may look alright, it is important to remember that the damage is internal. Burn victims with internal injury need just as much care as a person with external damage.