Burns and the Integumentary System


Burns and the Integumentary System
Peter Schuckert
Kaplan University

Burns and the Integumentary System
The patient is a 67 year old male named Fred Smith. The patient arrived at St. John’s Memorial Hospital via ambulance and was immediately admitted to the Emergency Room. Once the patient was stabilized Dr. Salazar had the patient was transferred over to the Critical Care Unit. The patient has suffered second and third degree burns that affect approximately 44 % of his body. The majority of the damage to the body is to the integumentary system with secondary damage to the surrounding muscles, and nervous tissue.
The skin, hair, nails, and the skin glands together form an organ system called the integumentary system. The skin is the primary organ of the integumentary system. The primary function of the integumentary system is to act as a barrier to protect the body from the outside world. The integumentary system also functions to retain body fluids, protect against disease, eliminate waste products, and regulate body temperature (Patton, 2008). The skin suffers most of the damaged caused by most burns.
When the skin is burned the burns are classified into three categories depending on the severity of the burn and the amount of tissue damage that is caused by the burn. First degree burns cause very minor pain, and some redness of the skin. Surface layers of the epidermis may peel in 1 to 3 days. There is also no blistering in first degree burns, and tissue destruction is minimal. First degree burns are typically sunburns. Second degree burns involves the deep epidermal layers, and always results in damage to the upper layers of the dermis. Deep second degree burns can damage sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and hair follicles. In second degree burns complete destruction of the dermis does not occur. Some symptoms of second degree burns include severe pain, swelling to the affected area, and...