April 1966

Use of Topical Antibacterial Therapy in the Treatment of the Burn Wound

Author Affiliations

From the US Army Surgical Research Unit, Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston.

Arch Surg. 1966;92(4):558-565. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1966.01320220114019

THEURN wound has been the victim of assault by practically every substance known to man which could be applied to the local wound. The only limiting factor in these applications was the imagination of the attending physician; substances have ranged from powdered unicorn's horn of the Middle Ages to tannic acid and antibiotics of a more recent era. Until recently, all these methods of topical therapy of the burn wound had fallen into disrepute because of toxicity of the substance applied, either local or systemic, or failure to show any beneficial results of the use of these substances or both. Reports in the surgical literature of recent date2,3,5,6 indicate that therapy directed toward the local burn wound not only has a rational basis but can be quite effective when properly used.

Characteristics of the Burn Wound  Careful studies done in recent years have conclusively demonstrated that bacterial infection of

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