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Burn Percentage in Adults: Rule of Nines

The rule of nines assesses the percentage of burn and is used to help guide treatment decisions including fluid resuscitation and becomes part of the guidelines to determine transfer to a burn unit.

Picture of the Rule of Nines used to evaluate burn victims

You can estimate the body surface area on an adult that has been burned by using multiples of 9.

An adult who has been burned, the percent of the body involved can be calculated as follows:

As an example, if both legs (18% x 2 = 36%), the groin (1%) and the front chest and abdomen were burned, this would involve 55% of the body.

Consumer e-Tools are not intended to provide professional advice or recommend particular products. Physicians and healthcare professionals should exercise their own clinical judgment when assessing the results of our tools or calculators. Consumers should consult a doctor for advice when assessing the results.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Classification of burns"

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/20/2017

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