Burns are a common medical emergency with children and the elderly particularly vulnerable populations. Burn patients should be evaluated as trauma patients with the ABCDs done as part of the initial survey.  The burn specific evaluation includes determining the type of burn: 1) thermal 2) chemical and 3) electrical with thermal burns constituting the majority of burn injuries. The burn size should be estimated as % total body surface area (%TBSA) injured using the Rule of Nines for adults or a Lund Browder chart for children and toddlers. The burn depth determination is based on clinical exam and indicates which skin structures are damaged. Burn depth is categorized as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th degree burns. Burn patients with >15% TBSA burn injury require burn resuscitation with IV fluids to prevent propagation of the burn injury. The skin functions as a barrier to infection and a regulator of body temperature through evaporative heat loss. Full thickness burn injury (3rd and 4th degree) results in loss of these functions. Other complications of burns include infection, scarring, loss of joint mobility, amputation and post-traumatic stress disorder. Treatment of the burn patient is directed toward preventing all of these potential complications.

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