Glossary

Rule of Nines
The Wallace Rule of Nine is used in pre-hospital and emergency medicine to assess the percentage of burn on a victim. This estimate of severity guides hospital admission and treatment including fluid resuscitation.
Epidermis
The outer layer of skin that covers our body. Plays a crucial role as a barrier to infection and regulating water loss. The epidermis does not have a blood supply.
Dermis
The layer of skin beneath the epidermis and above the subcutaneous tissues. Primarily made of dense irregular connective tissue which protects the body from impact. The dermis is home to sweat glands, hair follicles, sensory nerves, and blood vessels.
Second-degree burn
Sometimes referred to as partial thickness burns. These affect the dermis and parts of the epidermis. Result in red coloration and blisters. Depending on the extent of the damage these may be extremely painful.
Third-degree burn
Sometimes referred to as a full thickness burn. Often referred to as third-degree burns. These burns destroy both the epidermis and the dermis. Due to the destruction of nerve ending these are often painless. Severity and treatment is determined by the amount of body surface area affected.
Fourth-degree burn
The most serious kind of burn damaging not only the skin but deeper tissues such as muscles, tendons, and even bone. Such cases may necessitate amputation and may result in death.
Full thickness burn
Often referred to as third-degree burns. These burns destroy both the epidermis and the dermis. Severity and treatment is determined by the amount of body surface area affected.
Partial thickness or dermal injury
An injury which effects the epidermis and parts of the dermis. Usually refers to a second-degree burn.
Superficial burn
Often called a first-degree burn. The mildest burn which only affects the epidermis. It usually heals, unaided, in a day or two. Severe cases may require a doctor.
Graft (skin)
This surgery involves the transplanting of skin. Skin can come from the patient or elsewhere. The most common applications are the treatment of burns and skin cancers.
Autografts
Tissues used in the graft come from the same patient’s body. Autografts can be conducted with bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon’s or skin. Tissue is removed and transplanted to another region of the patient.
Allograft
The tissue used for the graft are from the same species but not the same individual. Allografts can be conducted with bone, ligament, cartilage, tendon’s or skin. Allografts are usually sourced from deceased donors.
Cultured Epithelial Autograft (CEA)
A minor skin biopsy allows skin from the patient to be grown in a laboratory. This skin is then grafted back onto the patient. CEA is especially useful in patients who have suffered burns on 50% of their body as donor skin is limited.
Power dermatome
A surgical instrument to acquire slices of skin from donors to be used in skin grafts. Dermatomes can be operated electrically or manually. Powered dermatomes can achieve thinner, longer, and equally thick slices of skin.