Topic Progress:

Topic Two: Burns - Wound Assessment

The initial assessment of a burn should include the following:

  • Type and cause
  • Site of the injury
  • Size (of individual wounds as well as surface area)
  • Extent of the burn
  • Depth
  • Colour
  • Exudate levels
  • Pain
  • Contamination (potential infection risk)

Adapted from (Clealand, 2012; Hollywood & O’Neill, 2013; Douglas & Wood, 2017)

It is important to note that burn wounds are dynamic and complex, and that the burn depth may increase with time along with a change in appearance. Reassessment after 24-48 hours is essential (Wounds International, 2014; Douglas & Wood, 2017). As the burn injuries heal, continual comprehensive wound assessments will ensure that the wound management plan is adjusted and the appropriate wound care continues to be delivered to the patient. (RCH, 2017)