Radio short wave and ultra-short wave apparatus is now extensively advertised and has begun to replace diathermy. At the high frequencies generated by these machines, ranging from ten to a hundred million oscillations per second (equal to wavelengths of from 3 to 30 meters), it is not necessary to apply the current directly to the body through metal electrodes as in diathermy. It is sufficient to place the part to be treated in the electrical field between insulated plates. Heat is generated chiefly by displacement currents within the tissues, which act as a dielectric.
This mode of application conveys the impression that the danger of burns is eliminated. The simplicity and safety of short wave therapy is played up in the sales campaign. Nothing is more erroneous. Burns have been observed clinically and they have been produced experimentally.
This report warns of the great danger ahead and, it is hoped,
KLING DH, Berg GO. BURNS, PRODUCED BY RADIO SHORT WAVE AND ULTRA-SHORT WAVE THERAPYAND THEIR PREVENTION. JAMA. 1935;104(22):1981–1984. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760220027009
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