The recent news of comedian and entertainer Jay Leno’s hospitalization due to serious burns brings to the forefront the potentially life-threatening nature of such an injury. Leno – the former host of “The Tonight Show” – suffered burns to his face, chest and hands while working on a vintage car that erupted in a gasoline fire.
Leno underwent at least one surgery and spent 10 days in a Los Angeles hospital before being discharged on Nov. 21. He will continue with outpatient care, and doctors remain optimistic for a complete recovery. Leno’s injuries could have been much worse.
Treatment may include skin grafts and cosmetic surgery
Burn injuries mainly occur at home, the workplace and motor vehicle crashes. The painful injuries may have long-term consequences to a victim’s physical and mental health, requiring months of therapy.
When it comes to burn injuries, specialized treatment often is in order and may include skin grafts and cosmetic reconstruction surgery. A number of other health challenges also may surface. They include:
- Burns to the eyes: Cornea damage may lead to infections, blurred vision, scarring and blindness.
- Damage to the respiratory system: Along with burns from the flames, respiratory damage may occur due to smoke inhalation. Severe lung damage is possible.
- Amputations: This injury is rare and often attributed to electrical burns.
- Shock: Victims who sustain severe burns may experience shock due to low blood pressure and the body not getting enough oxygenated blood. This may lead to organ failure.
- Infections such as sepsis: Sepsis may surface due to the presence of bacteria in the body. It represents the human body’s toxic response to infections. Organ failure and death may result.
- Psychological issues: Imagine surviving severe burn injuries. Along with the physical trauma comes mental trauma, which may lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
Any of these types of injuries may prove life-changing. But if you are a burn victim, continue with treatment for as long as you must.
Leno was lucky
Leno’s hospital stay was long enough, but many burn victims may expect lengthier times in the hospital to heal from injuries. In a way, Leno was lucky. As a result of prompt treatment and the nature of his injuries, Leno likely will continue to work on his vast collection of some 180 cars and 160 motorcycles that he stores in his large garage in Los Angeles.