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April 28, 1951


Author Affiliations

Richmond, Va.

From the Department of Surgery, Medical College of Virginia.; Chairman, Subcommittee on Burns, Member of the Committees on Surgery and Atomic Casualties, National Research Council.

JAMA. 1951;145(17):1342-1345. doi:10.1001/jama.1951.72920350001009

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Thermal injury (burns) will constitute a major medical problem in atomic attacks on any large American city. Burn casualties in the thousands should be expected and their care planned for. This medical care, to be truly effective, must have as its chief objectives the saving of the largest number of lives by the simplest means (in terms of materiel and personnel) and return of as many injured persons as possible to useful work in the war effort. Should atomic attacks on our cities come, we will be fighting for our very survival as a nation of free people.

Informed and brave free men can contemplate destruction from the skies somewhat calmly; trained free men, putting first things first, can effectively minimize damage by fire if they will only apply what is already known about the prevention and treatment of burns. I propose here to report briefly on the available information

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