1. jmh105
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    jmh105 Member

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    On: Scalding?

    Discussion in 'Research' started by jmh105, Jan 22, 2016.

    Hello, everyone,

    I have a situation in which one of my protagonists is cooking pasta for his niece when she headbutts him into the stove. As a result, he knocks into the pot and falls, dragging the it down with him. The pot and boiling water slam into his head. He does not receive any medical treatment until some time later (as the niece didn't bother calling 991).

    What do the consequences sound like here? I imagined that he could be blind in the eye closest to where the pot hit him due to prolonged retinal detachment, and that he would be generally scarred all over his face. Does this work, and to what extent?

    I am not sure how long scald scars like that would last (would something of this nature warrant a 3rd degree burn?), and for the sake of plot/his self-image problems, I am hoping that his face would prompt at least some people to "look at him the wrong way."

    Another thing I was wondering about is nerve damage. If he gets 3rd degree burns, would that permanently affect the nerves in his face?

    Could I accomplish the appropriate scarring, etc. with this incident?
     
  2. dedebird
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    dedebird Member

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    The scarring depends on how old he was when he got burned. If he was an adult the scarring would be permanent however if he was younger the scarring has a better possibility to heal. Doctors say you stop developing at 21 so the closer to 21 he is the more likely the scarring is to be permanent. He would also likely have patches of hair that will not grow.

    You also need to understand the basic difference between 2nd and 3rd degree burns. 2nd degree burns are really bad, but you can still feel the pain of the burn. 3rd degree burns are so bad you can no longer feel the pain because it has burned away your nerve endings. Most of the time when someone gets badly burned to the point of 3rd degree burns the whole area will not be 3rd degree burned it will be mixed with 2nd degree as well.

    I do believe you could achieve blindness and bad scarring with scalding water. The water would use his face as a surface to cool itself down putting all of it's heat into his skin. So if he knocks himself out and the water gets to just sit on his face it would probably be that bad.

    But all my knowledge comes from when my husband burned most of his face off at a young age he had horrible 2nd degree burns (almost 3rd) but he was 11 and his face has little scaring only thing that really was permanently affected was small patches of hair that wont grow in his beard. He did not have immediate medical attention but he did jump into the show with cold water as soon as it happened. He was burned by actual fire though.

    I suggest further research. Keep in mind that water can only heat to 212 Fahrenheit (or 100 Celsius) before turning into steam. So just do some research on what heat of that temperature will do to flesh if prolonged.
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    :confused:

    If your retina detaches it doesn't heal itself. Sometimes the detachment can be arrested by a laser treatment but most of the time the blindness is incurable.

    I think what you are trying to say is a corneal burn.

    Your eyelid is quick to close, the eye itself may not be burned.

    Scalding water can cause second and third degree burns. I don't think you'd get much damage deeper than the epidermis.

    Burns deeper than the epidermis are called 4th degree burns. In order to get 4th degree burns the source of heat would need to continue. So falling into boiling water with the heat continuing to heat the water could do it. But the water spilling out of a pan onto a person would cool before it caused much 4th degree damage.

    Why don't you Google it, there is a wealth of information on scalding burns online.
     
  4. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Would probably have some redness and blistering, nothing to serious unless you have him burn his eyes. That is a whole other can of worms, but for dermal tissue and boiling water it will be painful but not life threatening. Worst case you wrap his face up with some gauze and use some antiseptic ointment. The dermal layers should technically heal after sloughing off the dead layers. Could last anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks depending on how deep the damage is. Do not use ice water as it will create small ice crystals in the wound inflaming it, cool/cold water will be your best bet for immediate relief. Just a thought.
     
  5. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    That's not completely true, @Cave Troll. You can get some very serious burns from spilling a pan of boiling liquid.

    Woman, 22, reveals horrific burns she suffered after throwing gallons of boiling water into the air to make it freeze during polar vortex.

    Burn Foundation
    And if the boiling liquid contains oil or fat, it can stay hot on the skin longer, causing more extensive injury.

    But as I said before, burns usually need a continued source of heat to burn deeper than the skin (4th degree).
     
  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @GingerCoffee I don't claim to have all the facts, just sharing my thoughts is all. Not an expert, but have been burned by boiling water once or twice. Just so you know I am not an expert. :D
     
  7. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    No worries. Just correcting erroneous information. I wasn't criticizing you personally.
     
  8. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I know. :p
     

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