Thermal- Cool off the burn with water using one of these methods. Make a bath using warm water and then add ice, cooling it off to just below room temperature. This makes the water cool but not to the point it's near freezing. This is to keep the burn victim from catching a chill and it still removes the heat. Never use anything frozen, left on for to long it kills the alive tissues. If submerging the entire sight is implausible, irrogate with copious amounts of water. This next method works for burns on or near the face. Soak a clean cloth and place it on the burn and keep it cool by re-soaking it continuously. Use ointments to help healing and prevent blisters. Do not pop any blisters, blisters are natures perfect bandage.

Chemical- Wipe off the chemical with another object to avoid further burns. Flush the area immediately with running water. Remove all clothing that the chemical has come in contact with, this is to prevent spreading. Contact the proper emergency service immediately. Follow the instructions they will prompt you with.

Electrical- Make sure the power source is off before approaching the victim. There will be two burn spots an entrance and an exit. Treat both with a dry, sterile dressing. They may be deep. Do not cool the burn. The burn is not serious problem itself. Do not move the victim, in case of a spinal injury, this prevents further damage. Again, call the proper emergency service immediately.


The system for labeling burns is still the same three-degree system. They adopted this labeling system because every skin\flesh injury follows this system. Consistency is good. The only question left is, why didn't they do this earlier?

Superficial- Only the top layer of skin called the epidermis is burned. Most sun burns are a great example, they turn red and are painful. Feels cool to the touch with no blisters. Takes about a week to heal.

Partial thickness- Any burn that involves the epidermis and some portion of the dermis. The subcutaneous tissue is not damaged. They're painful, most can blister and the appearance is moist and molted. The color might be red or white. Heals in a couple weeks to a month.

Full thickness- Damage of all three layers. Involves muscles, bones and internal organs. Blood vessels and subcutaneous tissue maybe visible. May feel hard to the touch and look leathery and dry. Can be white, brown or black. Can be extremely painful but damaging the nerves will result in no pain. Repair comes from skin grafts of healthy tissue in the place of the dead stuff.

Burn classifications as it pertains to the Total Body Surface Area(TBSA).

Estimating size- There's a couple methods on gauging the amount that's burned. One of the older ways is the Rule of Nines. Where each body part receives a percent of X. The head and each arm receive nine percent each. While both legs, the back, and front of the torso receive 18% each. The exception being the neck receiving the remaining one percent. Also, one percent of the a person's TBSA is roughly the size of their palm, or the rule of palm.

Minor- Is a superficial burn less than 50% TBSA or, any partial thickness less than 15% TBSA, or full thickness and less than 2% TBSA.

Moderate- Is more than 50% TBSA is burned superficial or, any partial thickness burn that covers 15 to 30% TBSA, or a full thickness that covers 2% to 10% TBSA.

Critical- Partial thickness burn covering more than 30% or, any full thickness covering more than 10%. Also, any burns that includes the following: face, hands, feet, genitals, or any circumferential burn (Burns that wrap around the limb entirely). Burns to the elderly older then 55 years of age and children younger then 5, are always considered critical because their bodies contain less muscle mass compared to surface area.

American Academy of orthopaedic surgeons.Emergency care and transportation of the sick and injured. Sudbury, mass.:Jones and Bartlett publishers, 2005.