Where Compassion Meets Experience

What is the rule of nines?

Burn injuries are some of the worst ways that Californians can be hurt. If you have suffered burns, you should understand the rule of nines.

What is the rule of nines?

The rule of nines refers to a formula that doctors and other health care professionals use to determine the level of treatment a person needs when they have suffered burn injuries.

This method can help to determine the percentage of burns affecting a person’s body. It uses a percentage of nine or other numbers that can be multiplied by nine to determine how much of the body has suffered damage. The rule of nines for adults includes the following:

  • Arm: 9%
  • Front trunk: 18%
  • Genitalia: 1%
  • Head and neck: 9%
  • Legs: 18%
  • Back trunk: 18%

Burn victims are quickly assessed by doctors. With the rule of nines, they can determine approximately the percentage of a person’s body that has been burned. For example, if a person presents with both legs and the front trunk of their body with burns, the doctor would say they suffered burn injuries to 36% of their body.

The rule of nines is different for children due to their smaller body size. People who are obese also have different standards when it comes to the rule of nines.

How does the rule of nines relate to treatment?

Doctors can use the rule of nines to determine the type of treatment that’s appropriate for patients based on the size of their burn injuries. It helps them determine whether fluid replacement is necessary or if the patient has enough healthy skin intact so that they can perform skin grafts.

Burn injuries are among the most catastrophic. If you or a loved one suffered due to someone else’s negligence, it’s your right to hold them accountable.