©2018 WebMD, Inc. All rights reserved. eMedicineHealth does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See Additional Information.

Burn Percentage in Adults: Rule of Nines

Reviewed on 8/28/2020

What Is the Rule of Nines in Burns?

Burns can be measured by estimating the body surface area on an adult that has been burned by using multiples of 9.
Burns can be measured by estimating the body surface area on an adult that has been burned by using multiples of 9.

When measuring burns in adults, 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.

How to measure burns in adults

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

Picture of the Rule of Nines used to evaluate burn victims

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

  • 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 online 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.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Reviewed on 8/28/2020
CONTINUE SCROLLING FOR RELATED SLIDESHOW