<< Chapter < Page Chapter >> Page >

Burns

A burn results when the skin is damaged by intense heat, radiation, electricity, or chemicals. The damage results in the death of skin cells, which can lead to a massive loss of fluid. Dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and renal and circulatory failure follow, which can be fatal. Burn patients are treated with intravenous fluids to offset dehydration, as well as intravenous nutrients that enable the body to repair tissues and replace lost proteins. Another serious threat to the lives of burn patients is infection. Burned skin is extremely susceptible to bacteria and other pathogens, due to the loss of protection by intact layers of skin.

Burns are sometimes measured in terms of the size of the total surface area affected. This is referred to as the “rule of nines,” which associates specific anatomical areas with a percentage that is a factor of nine ( [link] ). Burns are also classified by the degree of their severity. A first-degree burn    is a superficial burn that affects only the epidermis. Although the skin may be painful and swollen, these burns typically heal on their own within a few days. Mild sunburn fits into the category of a first-degree burn. A second-degree burn    goes deeper and affects both the epidermis and a portion of the dermis. These burns result in swelling and a painful blistering of the skin. It is important to keep the burn site clean and sterile to prevent infection. If this is done, the burn will heal within several weeks. A third-degree burn    fully extends into the epidermis and dermis, destroying the tissue and affecting the nerve endings and sensory function. These are serious burns that may appear white, red, or black; they require medical attention and will heal slowly without it. A fourth-degree burn    is even more severe, affecting the underlying muscle and bone. Oddly, third and fourth-degree burns are usually not as painful because the nerve endings themselves are damaged. Full-thickness burns cannot be repaired by the body, because the local tissues used for repair are damaged and require excision (debridement), or amputation in severe cases, followed by grafting of the skin from an unaffected part of the body, or from skin grown in tissue culture for grafting purposes.

Calculating the size of a burn

This diagram depicts the percentage of the total body area burned when a victim suffers complete burns to regions of the body. Complete burning of the face, head and neck account for 19% of the total body area. Burning of the chest, abdomen and entire back above the waist accounts for 36% of the total body area. Anterior and posterior surfaces of the arms and hands account for 18% of the total body area (9% for each arm). The anterior and posterior surface of both legs, along with the buttocks, accounts for 36% of the total body area (18% for each leg). Finally, the anterior and posterior surfaces of the genitalia account for 1% of the total body area.
The size of a burn will guide decisions made about the need for specialized treatment. Specific parts of the body are associated with a percentage of body area.

Skin grafts are required when the damage from trauma or infection cannot be closed with sutures or staples. Watch this video to learn more about skin grafting procedures.

Scars and keloids

Most cuts or wounds, with the exception of ones that only scratch the surface (the epidermis), lead to scar formation. A scar    is collagen-rich skin formed after the process of wound healing that differs from normal skin. Scarring occurs in cases in which there is repair of skin damage, but the skin fails to regenerate the original skin structure. Fibroblasts generate scar tissue in the form of collagen, and the bulk of repair is due to the basket-weave pattern generated by collagen fibers and does not result in regeneration of the typical cellular structure of skin. Instead, the tissue is fibrous in nature and does not allow for the regeneration of accessory structures, such as hair follicles, sweat glands, or sebaceous glands.

Questions & Answers

Why is important to check if the blood if compatible before transfusion ?
Kelvin Reply
to avoid cases of intravenous clupping in blood which can be fatal....bcos blood is incopartable
John
Thank you.good answer
Kelvin
what are the clinical significant of thyroid gland
Jennifer Reply
what is a metabolism?
Kheth Reply
Metabolism is the sum total of all the chemical processes in the body. It is divided into an anabolic(building up) and catabolic(breaking down) metabolism)
Jonas
Oh ok
King
sir what is constructive and destructive metabolism
Soul
is anyone
Soul
Describe the system s that maintain the internal environment of a human body
Nora Reply
an organism is a living being that had a cellular structure and that can independently perform all physiological functions needed for life.
Nwecho Reply
a tissue is a group of similar cells that work together to perform a particular function
Nwecho
chemical level, cellular level, tissue level, organs level, organ systems, organisms
Nwecho Reply
they're reproduction but also produces hormones dus they're endocrine system
Nwecho
cells are smallest independent functional unit of a living organism
Nwecho
an organ is an anatomically distinct structure of the body composed of two or more tissue
Nwecho
an organ system is a group of organs that work together to perform a major function.
Nwecho
Structural Organization of the human body.
Tammy
What is a cavity
Isaac Reply
Permanently damaged areas in teeth that develop into tiny holes
MASLAH
what is meant by epithelial tissue
Zahid
What is the difference between regional anatomy and systematic anatomy?
Andrew Reply
Regional anatomy is the study of the interrelationships of all of the structures in a specific body region, such as the abdomen. ... In contrast, systemic anatomy is the study of the structures that make up a discrete body system—that is, a group of structures that work together to perform a unique
Tammy
Pls is that all
Petra
regional anatomy studies structures that contribute to specific body region example the thoracic region while systematic anatomy studies structures that contribute to specific body systems example respiratory system
Nwecho
so meaning of dissect
Mary Reply
it is the dismembering or the cutting of living organism to study the anatomical structure of it body
Kwasi
what are lymph nodes
Memory Reply
what is the best book that shows unit 1 about cell unit 2 about tissue unit 3 about embroyology
Abraham Reply
2
Hellen
to understand structure of body able to understand function of system. to understand how to build human body and function
Dereje Reply
hi
Neela
to determine body structures
Petra Reply
to know the use of each and every part of our body
Petra
to understand how our body structures work to support our lives
Petra
Is this a question?
Tammy
So what was the question?
Thamie
All the body work together to make the whole organism life possible
Kwasi
what is the importance of conversation
Hellen
To be able to identify the parts of the body and their functions
Hodasi
ok
Hodasi
Ideas are shared during conversation also informations are given
Hodasi
it reduces cost
Kwasi
what is carbon dioxide respiratory system why?
Prachi Reply
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is involved with the chemical process of cellular respiration. It is produced as a cellular waste product during the decomposition reactions and serves an important role in maintaining the appropriate acid-base balance in the body.
Tammy
thank you
Prachi
You're welcome!
Tammy
i have not under stood human heart
Simbwa Reply
means?
Dilshan
why a man became wild at the time of sexual intercourse. reason?
Soul

Get Jobilize Job Search Mobile App in your pocket Now!

Get it on Google Play




Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'Anatomy & Physiology' conversation and receive update notifications?

Ask