Know About Burn Wounds

What are burns?

Burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. The term “burn” means more than the burning sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterised by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.

Most people can recover from burns without serious health consequences, depending on the cause and degree of injury. More serious burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death.

Burn levels
There are three primary types of burns: first, second, and third degree. Each degree is based on the severity of damage to the skin, with first degree being the most minor and third degree being the most severe.

Damage includes:

First-degree burns: Damage only the outer layer of skin

Second-degree burns: Damage the outer layer and the layer underneath

Third-degree burns: Damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath

There is also fourth-degree burns. This type of burn includes all the symptoms of a third-degree burn and extend beyond the skin into tendons and bones.


Burns injuries are a global public health crisis, accounting fourth most common type of trauma worldwide, for an estimated 265,000 deaths annually. In India about 60,000 people suffer from burns annually, more than 50,000 are treated in hospitals and about 10,000 succumb to thermal injury.

Exact figure is likely to be even higher, considering the poverty, illiteracy, poor standards of safety at home, the workplace, industries and the public places, etc. Thus, the burn ‘disease’ is endemic in our country. The majority of patients sustain burns of such limited severity and extent (>80% of burns involve <20% of the body surface), that they can be treated on an outpatient basis.

Approximately 33% of patients who require in-hospital care have a major burn injury as defined by the American Burn Association on the basis of burn size, causative agent, and associated injuries and should be treated in a tertiary care burn center.


Compared with first- and second-degree burns, third-degree burns carry the risk for complications, such as infections, blood loss, and shock, which is often what,could lead to death.

All burns carry the risk of infections because bacteria can enter broken skin.

Tetanus is another possible complication with burns of all levels.

Hypothermia and Hypovolemia.

Available Treatment:

Effective topical antimicrobial chemotherapy limits intra eschar bacterial proliferation and the attendant risk of invasive infection. Mafenide acetate, 1% SSD and silver nitrate are the three most commonly employed topical antimicrobial agents for burn wound care. Each agent has specific limitations and advantages.

It is clear that the topical agents are crucial in the ultimate eradication of the burn and infected wound pathogens since it is extremely difficult to administer the intravenous antibiotics to non-perfused tissue such as burned skin. The poorly vascularized, burned skin is, therefore, the portal of entry and the infection in burn victims. The ideal topical agent should be highly active against common and multi-resistant pathogens, such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, vancomycin resistant Enterococcus faecium/faecalis, and extended spectrum β-lactamase producing Gram- negative organisms, while having a neutral or even beneficial effect on the wound healing process. Improving the methods of wound healing and tissue repair offers tremendous opportunities to enhance the quality of life for trauma and burn patients. It may also help to reduce health care costs. Researchers are looking to develop alternative therapies to commercial antibiotics due to the emergence of resistant strains. Current research has begun to include the development of alternative therapies to aid patients in recovering from their injuries.