What is debridement of burn wounds?

Debridement (cleaning) is a procedure that is performed on a burn injury that helps cleanse the wound and decrease the risk of infection. With debridement, the healthcare professional (doctor or nurse) inspects the wound bed and carefully removes dead tissue and even large blisters that may be painful or at risk of rupture.

Using special tools and techniques, the doctor or nurse also removes foreign bodies from the wound, including debris, dirt, and other remains. As they remove dead tissue, the doctor or nurse can see the full depth of the wound, which can then help determine the best treatment. Debridement helps boost healing as the wound surface is cleaned of tissue and fragments that might lead to a serious infection.

Dr. Stuart A. Linder, MD
Plastic Surgeon

Debridement of burn wounds is important for third degree burns to remove necrotic tissue and prevent infection. Tangential debridement refers to thin planar excisions of dead or necrotic tissue followed by dressing changes and finally skin grafting.

Debridement refers to removal of dead tissue from the burns. It can be as simple as removing blisters at bedside or having it done surgically in the operating room.

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