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October 31, 1953


Author Affiliations

New York

Fellow in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation aided by a fellowship from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (Dr. Clark) and Professor and Chairman, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, New York University College of Medicine (Dr. Rusk).

JAMA. 1953;153(9):787-788. doi:10.1001/jama.1953.02940260011004

Over the past 30 years, there have been some 40 reports in the literature on the therapy of decubitus ulcers covering a multitude of treatments with ointments, pastes and solutions, insulin1 and blood transfusion.2 Most of the latest references concern surgical treatment and the use of streptokinase and streptodornase3 as an adjunct to surgical closure.

In 1946 a study was made on 80 paraplegic patients with decubitus ulcers in the Newton D. Baker Hospital in Martinsburg, W. Va., by Barker and co-workers,4 who hypothesized that the ulcers themselves established a vicious circle and contributed to the patient's general debility. One patient was found to have lost 50 gm. of protein in 24 hours from five ulcers. The conclusion of this study was that surgical closure was the therapy of choice. This conclusion seems justified unless a more conservative but effective method of healing can be found

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