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July 24, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(13):874. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840300034010

The treatment of burns is directed toward prevention of shock and care of the surface wound. Probably overemphasis has been placed on surface treatment to the neglect of shock and anoxia. Cope suggests that improvement in results which came with the introduction of tannic acid treatment was probably due to better care of early shock rather than to the ability of tannic acid to fix in situ tissue toxins produced by burns. Cope1 reports the treatment of 39 patients brought to the emergency ward of the Massachusetts General Hospital from the Cocoanut Grove night club fire. A trial was given to the method in which treatment of shock and anoxia received first consideration, while treatment of the burned surface was simplified to the point of omission of débridement and cleansing. The treatment of the 39 patients consisted in application to the burned surfaces, without any preliminary débridement or cleansing,