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April 17, 1937

Foreign Letters

JAMA. 1937;108(16):1351-1356. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780160043019

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LONDON  (From Our Regular Correspondent)March 20, 1937.

Toxin Formation in Burns  Extensive burns produce systemic disturbances of which the causation is not well understood. W. C. Wilson, J. S. Jeffrey, A. N. Roxburgh and C. P. Stewart, of the department of surgery of the University of Edinburgh, have made an important investigation, which is reported in the British Journal of Surgery. They have clearly shown that toxin is generated in the burned tissues. The stage of acute toxemia begins between six and fifty hours after injury and not infrequently proves fatal about seventy hours after the burn. Clinical and pathologic studies strongly suggest the formation of toxin or toxins in the burned tissue and absorption into the circulation. There is also some evidence from experiments on animals. Recently, however, this view has been questioned.As long ago as 1876, Avdakoff reported that the blood of a burned animal was

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