Burn glossary

Terms related to burn injuries

A variety of terms may be used to describe a patient's treatment and healing process after a burn.

A thin layer of skin taken from an unburned area of the patient's body and placed on the burned area. The layer of skin adheres to and covers the burned area.
When a burn injury completely encircles the torso, leg, or arm.
Tightening or pulling of skin in a band-like fashion that decreases movement.
Removal of dead tissue from the burned area.
Donor site
An unburned area of the body from which the autograft or skin is taken to place on the burn wound.
An electrocardiogram, a measurement of the heartbeat.
A layer of dead, burned tissue.
The process of cutting through burned skin to allow for normal circulation.
The process of removing a patient from ventilator assistance in breathing.
A thin layer of skin taken from a cadaver and placed over a burn wound after debridement to act as an artificial skin until an autograft can be placed.
A daily bathing used to clean the wound and soften eschar in order to aid in the healing process.
Intravenous (IV)
A very small plastic catheter (needle) placed into a vein to allow more rapid administration of medication and to give fluids needed in large amounts.
A process of placing a patient on a ventilator.
Nasogastric tube (NG)
A small tube passed into the nose and down into the stomach. This tube may be used to remove stomach contents or to give feedings to provide adequate nutrition not taken by mouth.
Drugs that relieve pain.
Latin abbreviation for "nothing by mouth." The patient is not to eat or drink.
A monitoring device that measures oxygen in the body. The device may be placed on the earlobe, finger, or toe.
Range of motion
Exercises performed either actively or passively to increase joint mobility, preserve function, and increase strength.
Skin grafting
A surgical procedure where a thin layer of skin (autograft) is taken from an unburned part of the body and placed on a burn wound.
A device used to maintain a body part in a fixed position.
A layer of pig skin placed over a burn wound after debridement to act as an artificial skin until an autograft can be placed.
Last reviewed: 
December 2018

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