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November 6, 1948


JAMA. 1948;138(10):750. doi:10.1001/jama.1948.02900100030010

Severe burns are frequently complicated by infection; surprisingly, however, the concept that a burn is a wound requiring the aseptic precautions ordinarily followed in the surgical management of other types of injury has been less widely recognized. Delay in acceptance of this concept of burns apparently stems from the formerly prevalent idea that infection in a burn was more or less inevitable, so that more attention has been focused on treatment than on prevention of infection. Apparently few careful investigations have been made to determine the exact sources of infection commonly contaminating burns.

Colebrook, Duncan and Ross1 have recently drawn further attention to the causes of infection and have emphasized the need for asepsis in the local management of burns. These observers present the results of a bacteriologic study of 734 patients, including both sexes and all types of burns, during three years from 1945 to 1947. The patients