Burn Oedema

Burn Odema

Almost immediately after injury, oedema starts to collect beneath the damaged tissue. It is typically maximal within 24 hours but can last for up to four days. Plasma leaks into the tissues, there is a risk of hypovolaemia developing. Without treatment, burns shock can develop, which can potentially be fatal.

If the burn is on the face, neck or chest, the swelling from the oedema may cause obstruction of the airway. Treatment must ensure that the effects of burn oedema are minimised. The patient will undergo estimation of fluid loss through the wound and will have replacement of fluid loss through intravenous route to prevent hypovolaemic shock (Dealey, 2005; International Best Practice Guidelines, 2014).