Severe burn injuries can change the bacterial makeup of a victim’s gastrointestinal tract, increasing the percentage of harmful and potentially dangerous bacteria, and reducing helpful and beneficial bacteria. That change however, seems restricted to persons who have suffered severe burn injuries, as opposed to those with less severe burns.
Researchers found in their analysis of patients who had suffered severe burn injuries that these persons experienced a dramatic increase in the number of dangerous bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. This increase in the dangerous bacteria increased the chances that the person would develop gastrointestinal conditions like irritable bowel disease, and other non-related conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and even diabetes. They found that in a person with a severe burn injury, the dangerous bacteria comprised approximately 32% of the bacteria in the gut, while among patients with less severe burn injuries, the dangerous bacteria accounted for just 0.5% of the bacteria.
This condition in which there is an imbalance in the bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract is known as dysbiosis, and it has potentially long term health consequences. In fact, according to the researchers, some of these complications could possibly even result in death of a person with severe burn injuries.
Compensation for burn injuries must include compensation not just for medical expenses, and lost wages, but also the potential for lost income in the future. Severe burn injuries, for instance, can result in a number of potentially devastating health consequences, including nerve damage, nerve pain, and joint disorders. The person may suffer from severe scarring and disfigurement, and that could impede his ability to go back to work and earn a living.