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Burn-related Terms

Antibiotics Medicines that are used to treat burn wound infections and blood infections caused by burns.
Aquacel Gauze like material with silver. Used to cover the burn when almost healed.
Bacteria Also called germs. The cause of most burn infections.
Circumferential Burn One that goes all the way around the neck, trunk or any extremity.
Contracture A tightening of tissue between two joints, caused by “shrinkage” of scar tissue. The result is reduced joint movement and function.
Debridement Removal of dead tissue from the wound surface, either in surgery or in the tub room.
Dermis The second (deeper) layer of the skin.
Donor Site The place on the patient from which unburned skin is taken for grafting.
Edema Swelling caused by the collection of fluid in the tissues.
Epidermis Outermost layer of the skin.
Eschar The dead tissues on the surface of the wound which must be removed for healing to occur and for prevention of infection.
Full Thickness Burn A burn which cannot readily heal by itself because all layers of the skin have been destroyed. These areas are usually grafted. (Often referred to as third degree burn.)
Graft Non-burned skin which is placed on the burn wound. These can be homografts, autografts, or heterografts.
Granulation Tissue A specialized tissue created by the body as a defense against invading bacteria, exceedingly rich in tiny blood vessels; provides a base of support for skin grafts.
PM Dressing Changes Gentle cleansing of the burn wound. The nurse will reapply topical creams/onitments and dressings on the burn. Child will be given pain medication for the dressing change.
OT Occupational Therapy – evaluation and treatment which addresses functional outcome and activities of daily living.
PT Physical Therapy – evaluation and treatment to provide hydrotherapy (tubbing) and address mobility and prevent contractures.
Partial Thickness Burn A burn in which the damage does not extend through the entire thickness of the skin (dermis). Enough of the deeper layers remain to permit spontaneous healing of skin with time (often referred to as second degree burn).
Percent of Burn Measurement of body surfaced injured.
Pressure Garment Resembles long underwear and puts pressure on skin grafts and healed burns to prevent thickening or scarring of these areas.
Skin Graft Using a piece of skin from another part of the body to repair a deep burn wound.
Superficial Burn Often referred to as a “first degree burn.” Affects superficial layer of skin tissue (epidermis). Initially appears red, swollen, and painful (i.e. sunburn). Heals spontaneously.
Tub Room A room in our hospital for burn wounds to be washed in a very clean setting.
Xeroform A yellow gauze dressing applied to wounds that are nearly healed.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 04/07