Burn Classification: Identifying a Deep Partial-Thickness Burn


Burn classification is the process of determining the severity of a burn. Burns are classified into three depths: superficial, partial-thickness, and full-thickness.

Deep Partial-Thickness Burn

A deep partial-thickness burn is a type of burn that damages the dermis, the second layer of skin. Deep partial-thickness burns are typically red, blistering, and have a decreased capillary refill time. Sensation may be reduced or absent.

Burn Classification Criteria

Burn depth can be classified using the following criteria:

  • Appearance: Superficial burns are typically red and dry. Partial-thickness burns are typically red, blistering, and have a decreased capillary refill time. Full-thickness burns are typically brown, black, or white, and have no capillary refill.
  • Sensation: Superficial burns are typically painful. Partial-thickness burns may or may not have sensation. Full-thickness burns have no sensation.
  • Blanching: Superficial burns blanch (turn white) when pressure is applied. Partial-thickness burns may or may not blanch. Full-thickness burns do not blanch.

Categorization of Burn Injury

Based on the information provided, the client’s burn injury should be categorized as a deep partial-thickness burn. The burn appears red, has blisters, and is very painful. All of these findings are consistent with a deep partial-thickness burn.


Deep partial-thickness burns are a serious type of burn and require medical attention. Deep partial-thickness burns often require wound care, pain management, and fluid resuscitation. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to remove the dead tissue and promote healing.

Additional Information

Deep partial-thickness burns can take several weeks or even months to heal. During the healing process, it is important to keep the burn area clean and protected from infection. The client may also need to wear a compression bandage to help reduce swelling and promote healing.


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