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May 26, 1945

BORIC ACID OINTMENT: A STUDY OF POSSIBLE INTOXICATION IN THE TREATMENT OF BURNS

JAMA. 1945;128(4):266-274. doi:10.1001/jama.1945.02860210022006
Abstract

Boric acid ointment has been used for many years as an antiseptic and bland preparation for the treatment of burns. The favorable results obtained in treatment of the victims of the Cocoanut Grove disaster when boric acid ointment or white petrolatum was used under pressure dressings resulted in an official recommendation of this type of therapy by the Subcommittee on Burns of the National Research Council.1 On the basis of these findings a circular letter was sent by the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery to all medical officers in which this form of treatment was summarized. At that time Cope2 suggested that "too rapid absorption of boric acid might result in poisoning." Analyses of the urine of 20 of his patients showed that a maximum of 2.0 Gm. of boric acid might be excreted in the first twenty-four hours by patients with extensive burns. Later when saturated boric

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