March 1965

The Effect of Surface Cooling On Heat Penetration in Experimental Burns

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Kansas University Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan, and Veterans Administration Hospital, Kansas City, Mo. Associate Professor of Surgery, Illinois College of Medicine (Dr. King), and Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Kansas School of Medicine (Dr. Zimmerman).

Arch Surg. 1965;90(3):401-403. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320090079018

THERE NO longer exists much doubt that progressive changes disproportionate to the amount of heat penetration follow the infliction of thermal injury to living tissue. Along with other workers, we have been investigating ways in which the course of these changes can be beneficially modified. We have found increasing evidence in experimental animals that early cooling of burn surfaces, both large and small, can materially alter the end result of controlled thermal injuries both in terms of capillary permeability and edema formation with consequent local wound morbidity4 and in terms of overall mortality.5 While most evidence supports the hypothesis that surface cooling improves the course of burns by inhibiting capillary permeability and consequently diminishing the amount of edema formation,6 the question has been raised that the improvement might be expected purely on the basis of caloric exchange taking place in the early cooling of "hot" fresh burned

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