December 1963

Progressive Changes in the Depth of Burns

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry.

Arch Surg. 1963;87(6):993-997. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1963.01310180109019

Introduction  Can the initial treatment of a burn prevent further tissue destruction during the early postburn period? A definite answer to that question cannot yet be given. However, if tissue destruction is progressive during the first several hours after burning, or if some of the damaged tissue can recover during that period, the initial therapy, eg, immersion in cold water, might well influence the severity.This study shows that in untreated burns some tissues are progressively destroyed while others recover during the first 48 hours after injury.

Methods  Young Chester White pigs were used as the experimental animals because their skin closely resembles human skin histologically. They were anesthetized with intraperitoneal or intravenous barbiturates.Shortly before the burns were to be placed the hair was closely clipped from each side, and the skin was gently washed with water and a liquid detergent. The animals were then transferred to an air-conditioned

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