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June 26, 1943


Author Affiliations

Medical Corps, United States Army

JAMA. 1943;122(9):597-598. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.72840260002007b

Refrigeration anesthesia for skin grafting opens a new field for the use of reduced temperatures in surgery. In 27 cases requiring small or multiple small split thickness skin grafts this method was used. Pinch grafts could be removed equally well, although none were attempted in this series. Results were so satisfactory that this report is submitted for general consideration.

In July 1941 my associates and I began to use refrigeration anesthesia for the amputation of extremities. When an extremity is refrigerated for amputation, a tourniquet is always used. Ordinarily the constriction of a tourniquet is painful. Some of the original workers in refrigeration anesthesia discovered that previous chilling of the tissues with ice bags definitely decreased this discomfort. We corroborated this finding, noting also that the skin was completely anesthetized. It was this ability of ice bags to produce superficial anesthesia that led us to attempt the method on donor

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