Oil and gas workers who suffer serious burns on the oil field may find that their injuries result in more than physical pain. In addition to potentially proving life-threatening and causing individuals severe, chronic pain, burn injuries may also lead to social, emotional and mental hardships.
According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, major burns often have a long-term impact on a victim’s quality of life.
Issues relating to quality of life after a burn injury
Many victims of oil field burn injuries experience disfigurement. This sometimes leads to emotional struggles, self-isolation and problems with body image and self-esteem. Many burn victims also report experiencing sleep issues, itching or ongoing weakness in the aftermath of their injuries. The invasive medical treatment many with burn injuries must undergo may, too, lead to cognitive or behavioral changes.
Factors that impact quality of life after a burn injury
The severity of an oil field burn plays a role in how much it impacts a workers’ quality of life. However, other variables also impact how long a patient takes to recover and how much the burn injury hinders him or her moving forward. The patient’s personality factors in. So, too, does the location of the burn injuries and the socioeconomic status and living situation of the individual burned.
Research shows that burn injury patients often recover faster when they have support from loved ones and a positive, comfortable living situation. On the flip side, certain factors, such as substance abuse, have the potential to delay a patient’s healing and compound the negative effects on quality of life.