A burn involves the destruction of skin cells. Depending on the degree of the burn, it can also involve the underlying structures of muscle, fascia, and bone. That occurs when these structures absorb more heat than their capacity to dissipate it.
Can children and older adults suffer more from a burn?
Yes, children and older adults can sustain severe burns at a lower temperatures and in less time than an adult. This is due to their thinner skin. Exposure for just three seconds to water which is 140 degrees Fahrenheit can result in a full thickness or third degree burn. An adult would have to be exposed to the same temperature for up to five seconds to sustain the same burn. Remember that 140 degrees Fahrenheit is the average temperature of a home's hot water that comes out of the tap.
What are the types of burns?
The types of burns are flame burns, chemical burns, electric burns, heat contact burns. You can learn more about the types of burns by going to Types of Burns.
What percentage of my body is burned?
Percentage of the body that is burned, is estimated by the doctor when the burn patient reaches the hospital. This is used in calculating fluid replacement therapy, critical in the early stages of recovery. You can see the percentage rates of the body by going to Burn Assessment.
What are the degree of burns?
The degree of burns are 1st degree, 2nd degree partial thickness, 2nd degree deep thickness, 3rd degree and 4th degree burns. You can learn more about each type of burn by going to Degree of Burns.
What are minor, moderate and major injury (burns)?
Burns are considered minor, moderate, or major according to the depth and percentage of body that was burned. Also considered is the area of the body burned, and in some instances an individuals previous medical history can also be a factor.
Individuals with minor to moderate injury (burns), according to depth and percentage, can be treated in a specialty burn center or unit, a local community hospital with a surgeon on staff versed in state-of-the-art burn care, or on an outpatient basis.
Burns covering more body surface than an arm (some physicians indicate two fist sizes), or if burns are of the face, hands, neck, perineum, or feet are considered major. Major burns should be cared for in a special burn unit. Likewise, victims with complicating circumstances, such as smoke inhalation, pre-burn medical conditions, pregnancy, etc., should be considered major and treated in a burn unit.