How to treat burn? [Principle of treatment]

Overview I Types of burn I Assement of burn I Rule of Nine I Clinical features I Principle of treatment

Last updated on May 4th, 2019

Burn is the thermal injury caused by dry heat. Scald is the thermal injury caused by dry heat. Most of the burn is due to heat from the hot liquids, solid and fire. While the burn rate is similar to male and females but the underlying cause often gets differ. Amon the women, the risk is related to the use of open cooking fire, or unsafe cookstoves, while the men risk is related to the work environment. Alcoholism and smoking can be also considered as one of the risk factors for the burn. Burn can also result in self-harm or the violence of the people. How to treat burn? Well, It can be easy for some people and can be most difficult for some people. If you know the correct way to treat it will be easier for you but if you don’t know the correct way it will be the hardest topic for you. So here is the principle of management for how to treat burn.

Types of burn

  1. According to depth
    Superficial Burn
    Deep burn
  2. According to degree
    1st degree: Burn up to the epidermis
    2nd degree: Epidermis + ½ of the dermis
    3rd degree: epidermis + whole dermis

Source: Webmd

Assessment of Burn

1.The extent of burn: done by a. Rule of 1
a.One hand+1%
b. Rule of 9

2. The depth of burn: Test sensation by pinprick. on pinprick, if feels pain then it is superficial burn and if feels no pain then it is deep burn.

Rule of Nine

Head and neck9%18%20%
front of chest and
abdominal wall
Back of chest and
abdominal wall
Lowe limb18*2=36%13.5*2=27%10*2=20%
upper limb9*2=18%18%10*2=20%

Note: It is head and lower limb percentage which differs in adults and children.

Rule of 9

Clinical features

  • History of burn
  • Pain
  • burning
  • anxious status
  • Tachycardia
  • Tachypnoea
  • Fluid loss
  • In severe degree features of shock

The tolerable temperature to human skin is 40⁰c for a brief period.

There is also a Informative article on how to treat burn in Healthline

Principle of treatment

A. Prevention and treatment of burn shock by

  1. Narcotic analgesic: half I/V and a half I/M
  2. By appropriate and adequate fluid

Appropriate fluid

Infuse plasma if it not available, give plasma substitute, if it is not available, give polyglactin ( haematocele), if it not available give dextran-70, etc, if not available give electrolyte solution e.g normal saline, 5% dextrose saline or Hartman’s solution, etc.

Adequate fluid: six ration fluids

1st 12 hours= 3 rations, 2nd 12 hours= 2 rations and 3rd 12 hours= 1 ration plus normal fluid requirement

1 ration = %of burn x weight in kg/2

B. Prevention and treatment of burn infection

  • By barrier nursing
  • Prophylactic antibiotics
  • Prevention of tetanus

C. Treatment of burn Wound

a. Open method of treatment: patient should be isolated and keep in well ventilated dry and humidified room. Its the starting treatment for the patient.

b. Closed method of treatment: Three layers of dressing

  • 1st layer: Vaseline gauze with antibiotics.
  • 2nd layer: dry sterile cotton gauze.
  • 3rd layer: adsorbent cotton plus cotton bandage.

D. Prevention and treatment of burn complications.

Septic complication by blood transfusion, broad-spectrum antibiotics, and oxygen inhalation.

  1. Gastrointestinal hemorrhage ( curling’s ulcer) by an antacid, intravenous h₂ blocker and blood transfusion.
  2. Post-burn contracture by plastic reconstruction
  3. Circumferential Escher by echerotomy.

These are the major fundamental of how to treat burn. If you are treating a burn try to follow these steps. According to American Academy Of Dermatology
“First-degree burns typically heal on their own without treatment from a doctor. “

However, if your burn is extremely massive or if the victim is a child or old person or if you think that your burn is a lot of severe, go to an emergency room immediately.


World of Medical Saviours (WOMS) is a website formed by a group of medicos who are embarking to provide facts, tips and knowledge related to health and lifestyle. This website proves to be a great platform for the medical enthusiast and also for those medicos searching to outgrowth their knowledge about the medical field.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button