February 20, 1943


JAMA. 1943;121(8):596-597. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840080044012

A timely addition to our knowledge of the pathology of superficial burns has been made in a study of the toxicity of heated human plasma recently reported by Kabat and Levine1 of the Department of Physiology, University of Minnesota. In the course of extensive experiments on thermal shock in anesthetized cats it was noted that a small proportion of the animals succumbed within a few minutes after burning. The respiration stopped suddenly, the heart beat was slow and irregular and the blood pressure fell precipitously. Artificial respiration usually did not result in recovery. Hemoconcentration was minimal at the time of death. Since the sudden death could not be explained on the basis of fluid loss and since nervous factors had been experimentally eliminated, the phenomenon was attributed to a toxin.

Measurements of subcutaneous temperatures in experimental scalds showed that temperatures of 55 to 65 C. are reached and maintained

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