rule of nines

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rule of nines (rool nynz) n. a method for quickly assessing the area of the body covered by burns in order to assist calculation of the amount of intravenous fluid to be given. The body is divided into areas of skin comprising approximately 9% each of the total body surface. These are as follows: each arm=9%, the head=9%, each leg=18%, the back of the torso=18%, the front of the torso=18%, with the external genitalia making up the final 1%. The rule is not applicable to children, whose body proportions change with age (in younger children the head represents a greater proportion of the total body surface area).