Did you know that burns are one of the most common and devastating injuries worldwide? According to the World Health Organization, approximately 265,000 deaths are caused by burns annually, with the majority occurring in low- and middle-income countries. The severity of burns can vary widely, from minor first-degree burns to life-threatening third-degree burns that require immediate medical attention. That’s why accurate assessment of burn severity is crucial in determining the appropriate treatment and predicting the patient’s outcome. In this post, we’ll discuss the Lund and Browder Chart, a widely used tool for assessing the extent and severity of burns. We’ll cover the following key points:
- What is the Lund and Browder Chart?
- How to use the Lund and Browder Chart
- Advantages of using the Lund and Browder Chart
- Limitations of the Lund and Browder Chart
What is the Lund and Browder Chart?
The Lund and Browder Chart is a graphical method of estimating the extent and severity of burns over the entire body surface area. It was developed in the 1940s by Swedish surgeon A. F. Lund and American surgeon T. J. Browder, and has since been widely adopted as a standard tool for burn assessment. The chart divides the body into different regions and assigns a percentage value to each region based on the body surface area it represents. The percentage values are then multiplied by the degree of burn severity (first, second, or third degree) to calculate the total body surface area affected by each degree of burn.
How to use the Lund and Browder Chart
To use the Lund and Browder Chart, follow these steps:
- Identify the different regions of the body, as shown on the chart.
- Estimate the percentage of body surface area affected by each degree of burn in each region, and record the values in the appropriate boxes on the chart.
- Calculate the total percentage of body surface area affected by each degree of burn, and add them up to get the total body surface area affected by the burn.
Suppose a patient has burns on their left arm (front and back), left leg (front and back), chest, and abdomen:
|Region||Percentage||Degree of Burn||Body Surface Area Affected|
|Left Arm (front)||4.5%||Second degree||0.045 x 2 = 0.09|
|Left Arm (back)||4.5%||Third degree||0.045 x 3 = 0.135|
|Left Leg (front)||9%||First degree||0.09 x 1 = 0.09|
|Left Leg (back)||9%||Second degree||0.09 x 2 = 0.18|
|Chest||9%||Third degree||0.09 x 3 = 0.27|
|Abdomen||9%||First degree||0.09 x 1 = 0.09|
Total body surface area affected: 0.09 + 0.135 + 0.09 + 0.18 + 0.27 + 0.09 = 0.87 Therefore, the patient has burns on 87% of their body surface area.
Advantages of using the Lund and Browder Chart
The Lund and Browder Chart has several advantages over other methods of burn assessment:
- It takes into account the different regions of the body and their varying sizes, which allows for a more accurate estimation of the total body surface area affected by the burn.
- It takes into account the different degrees of burn severity, which allows for a more accurate estimation of the extent and severity of the burn.
- It is easy to use and does not require any special equipment or training.
Limitations of the Lund and Browder Chart
Despite its many advantages, the Lund and Browder Chart also has some limitations:
- It may underestimate the extent of the burn in patients with large body habitus or edema, as the percentage values assigned to each region may not accurately reflect the actual body surface area affected.
- It may overestimate the extent of the burn in patients with circumferential burns, as the chart does not take into account the depth of the burn or the degree of tissue damage.
- It may be time-consuming to use in patients with extensive burns, as it requires careful examination of each individual region of the body.
In conclusion, the Lund and Browder Chart is a valuable tool for assessing the extent and severity of burns. Although it has some limitations, it remains one of the most widely used methods of burn assessment due to its accuracy and ease of use. By using the Lund and Browder Chart, healthcare professionals can ensure that patients with burns receive the appropriate treatment and care, and improve their chances of a successful recovery.