Burn Injuries Characteristics, Types and Location



Burn Injuries Characteristics

Minor Burns

– Partial Thickness: <15% TBSA
– Full Thickness: <2% TBSA


Moderate Burns

– Partial Thickness: 15% - 25% TBSA
– Full Thickness: 2% - 10% TBSA


Major Burns

– Partial Thickness: >25% TBSA
– Full Thickness: >10% TBSA




Location of Burn

– Burns of the head, neck, and chest area are associated with pulmonary complications.

– Burns of the face are associated with corneal abrasion

– Hands and joints require extensive therapy to prevent disability

– The perineal area is prone to autocontamination

Circumferential burns of the extremities can produce a torniquet-like effect and lead to vascular compromise (compartment syndrome)

Circumferential thoracic burns lead to inadequate chest wall expansion and pulmonary insufficiency




Types of Burn

Thermal Burns – Caused by exposure to flames, hot liquids, or hot objects

Chemical Burns

Electrical Burns – Internal tissue damage, AC is more dangerous than DC, AC is associated with cardiopulmonary arrest, VFib, tetanic muscle contractions, and long bone and vertebral fractures

Radiation Burns – UV, X-Rays, or a radioactive source




Phases of Burn Injuries Characteristics

Emergent – Begins at the time of injury and ends with the restoration of capillary permeability, usually 48 to 72 hours after the injury
Goal: prevention of hypovolemic shock and preserve organ function

Resuscitative Phase – Begins with the initiation of fluids and ends when capilliary integrity returns to near normal levels and the large fluid shifts have decreased
Goal: Provision of resuscitative fluids

Acute Phase
– Begins when the client is hemodynamically stable, capillary permeability is restored, and diuresis has begun
– Usually begins 48 to 72 hours after the injury
Goal: Restorative therapy, infection control, wound care, wound closure, nutritional support, pain management, and physical therapy

Rehabilitative Phase
– Final focus
– Overlaps the Acute Phase and goes beyond hospitalization
Goal: Independence and achievement of maximal function




Temporary Wound Coverings

Amnion: – Amniotic membranes from placenta, changed every 48 hours

Allograft / Homograft – From human cadaver, harvested within 24 hours post mortem

Xenograft / Heterograft – Porcine skin, replaced every 2 to 5 days.


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