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September 1958

Early Excision of More Than Twenty-Five Per Cent of Body Surface in the Extensively Burned PatientAn Evaluation

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, and the Cincinnati General Hospital.

AMA Arch Surg. 1958;77(3):369-375. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1958.01290030069008

Although the survival time of extensively burned patients has increased, modern advances in therapy have not appreciably decreased the mortality rate in this group of patients. If the per cent of area burned for 412 patients treated between 1952 and 1956 is plotted against the per cent mortality, it is noted that a 55% total body burn is associated with a 50% mortality rate, represented by the solid curve (Fig. 1). This experience differs little from the mortality rate reported by Bull and Fisher for 967 cases treated between 1948 and 1952, where a 50% total body burn was associated with a 50% mortality rate, represented by the broken curve (Fig. 1).

The influence of infection upon the mortality rate is clearly defined when the causes of 86 deaths occurring between 1950 and 1956 at the U. S. Army Surgical Research Unit are analyzed (Fig. 2). Of the 86 deaths,

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