A CHILD soon learns that cold relieves the pain of a burn, and cold has been used since ancient times in the treatment of burns. More recently, at the beginning of the second World War, Webster and others1 and White and his associates2 recommended cold in the therapy of immersion foot. They found not only that it relieved the pain but also that it was followed by some reduction in volume of the edema. Should such reduction in edema be achieved in a burn the use of cold might materially reduce the volume of plasma needed in the therapy of burn shock.
There are also theoretic reasons pointing to the use of cold for burns. Cold should diminish the metabolic demands of the wound, and if the circulation to the wound were impaired, the degree of tissue damage might be decreased. Bacterial infection should be reduced by the
LANGOHR JL, ROSENFELD L, OWEN CR, COPE O. EFFECT OF THERAPEUTIC COLD ON THE CIRCULATION OF BLOOD AND LYMPH IN THERMAL BURNSAn Experimental Study. Arch Surg. 1949;59(5):1031-1044. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1949.01240041041005