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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Classification of burns...........

Doc, are there different ways to classify burns?
Mrs. Janice Parker. S. Africa.
Yes there are different ways to classify burns, but the whole purpose is to help in managing them in a better way.  Every burn must be mentioned by its degree or depth since it lets the surgeon know whether he should manage the patient conservatively or by surgery. Further classifying burns in major, minor or moderate helps to decide the level of management that they need. Thus a third degree burn even if it is one percent TBSA (total burn surface area) cannot be managed conservatively and will need surgery. Again a 5 percent TBSA can be managed on an outpatient basis, but a 50 percent TBSA will definitely need inpatient management.
degree of burns.
Degree of burn actually tells us about the depth of the burn. The burn depth is classified as follows.
a) First degree- superficial burns affecting the epidermis are referred to as first degree burns and are similar to sunburns.
 b) Second degree: both the epidermis and the superficial layer of the dermis are damaged in second degree burns.
c) Third degree burns: these burns affect the full thickness skin and often needs surgical management.
d) Fourth degree burns: these burns affect the full thickness of the skin and the underlying structures like nerves, muscles, tendons, vessels and may extend up to the bone.
We can also classify burns according to their size:
a)Major Burns: these consist of chemical or high voltage electrical burns, Inhalation injury, full thickness burns more than 10% TBSA or burns involving more than 25%TBSA.
b) Moderate Burns: these consist of Superficial or partial thickness burns of trunk, hands, feet, perineum or head involving 15-25% TBSA.
c) Minor Burns:  these consist of Burns not involving the hand, perineum, feet or head and must be less than 15% TBSA.
(An original initiative in burn care and education from asktheburnsurgeon+)

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