A thorough patient assessment and full medical history will exclude other injuries, identify co morbid conditions that can affect healing, ascertain tetanus immunization status and presence of drug allergies.
Careful attention should be given to the details surrounding the injury. Knowledge of the cause, exact mechanism and timing of injury as well as prior treatment will help to ascertain the likely severity of the burn. In older people, it is important to identify if the burn injury is a symptom of a broader frailty and safety concern as this will need to be addressed to reduce the risk of further injury.
Non – accidental injury particularly in children and elderly should be suspected when there is inconsistency between the history of the incident and the visible appearance of the injury. These types of injuries should prompt a referral to a burns service for further management and investigation.