Burn assessment

There are two significant components to assessing a burn injury: size and depth.


How to assess a burn

To determine the extent of the injury, there are two significant components to assessing a burn injury:

Step one: the size of the burn wound as a percentage of total body surface area (% TBSA).

Step two: how deep the burn injury has damaged the tissue.

Note: Epidermal burns are not included in this calculation.

The impact of the burn wound on the patient is influenced by the seriousness of the burn wound and the physiological reserve of the patient (e.g. extremes of age, pre-existing illness, comorbidities such as trauma, inhalation injury).


Determine the size in TBSA

The extent of injury is best described using the percentage of the total body surface area (%TBSA) that is affected by a burn.

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Determine the burn depth

Assessing the depth of a burn injury is crucial for determining the appropriate treatment approach and predicting wound healing potential.

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Paediatrics Burns

For burns affecting children and infants, please see the Royal Children’s Hospital burns unit.

Visit the Royal Children's Hospital website