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To the Editor:—
Under the title "Pain Relief in Burns," in The Journal, Dec. 10, 1960, page 1194, Dr. Charles Harris, commenting on the treatment of burns by immersion in ice water, records his favorable impression of this treatment which, as he said, he discovered by accident. I wish to add my experience with the use of denatured ethyl alcohol in the immediate treatment of burns which I, too, discovered by accident.One of my friends who owns a restaurant brought his cook to my home after midnight. The cook was suffering from pain as the result of a flash burn of the entire right arm. My armamentarium consisted of a roll of cotton, a 2-in. bandage, and a bottle of denatured ethyl alcohol. After applying cotton soaked in alcohol I bandaged the arm. I was preparing a hypodermic injection of morphine, when the patient exclaimed: "My arm feels fine.
BODENHEIMER JM. Application of Cold to Burns. JAMA. 1961;175(12):1110. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040120072022