Summer is the most common time for outdoor burns from bonfires or fireworks which are usually more severe than indoor burns from things like cooking or ironing.
"There is the possibility of both heat and smoke inhalation injury. A for airway. Always the first thing to attend to. The second is breathing. You can't get the chest to expand because of the severe burn, so sometimes there's immediate surgery that needs to be done to release the chest so that you can expand the lungs," said Kathryn Bass, Women and Children's Hospital of Buffalo trauma director.
Third-degree burns will require a skin graft. That's when skin is taken from another part of a body, meshed and stitched over the burned part of the body.
"The burn essentially removes the outer skin. The skin is our immune barrier, and it helps us to keep our fluid balance, so with that organ injured, there tends to be a huge amount of fluid resuscitation that's required urgently in order for patients to survive," said Bass.
"There's always the risk that patients will get infected before we can get the burn wound closed. It's almost a race between the doctor and the bacteria to close the wound, to close the door, before bacteria causes an infection," said Dr. William Flynn , ECMC Chief of Surgery.
Over the years, there has been major improvements in burn care.
National Institutes of Health report that in mid-1970s, people with burns on more than 20 percent of their bodies almost never pulled through. Now, people with as much as 90 percent can often survive.
A small third-degree burn will land you in a hospital for a couple weeks but larger ones will leave you in a burn unit for months.
"We have now gone from temporary dressings, which have to be removed, and then we have to deal with the body's scar response, to another approach, which is to use a biologic, which is tissue regenerative," said Bass. "We were able to augment immunity, improve the patient's defense against infection, and accelerate wound healing."
"In the last 15 to 20 years, it's more powerful topical antibacterials and more specific, and powerful iv antibiotics to fight infections," said Flynn.
Doctors recommend reducing your risk for a burn by limiting alcohol, being extra cautious around open flames and not using fireworks.