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Article
November 3, 1956

NECESSARY COMPROMISES IN THERAPY OF BURNS SUSTAINED IN NUCLEAR WARFARE

JAMA. 1956;162(10):956-958. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02970270016006
Abstract

• The treatment of burns occurring in thousands of people at once during nuclear warfare inevitably falls far short of the ideal. Compromises are necessary in order to make sure that the maximum number of people will be saved by the means available. These compromises involve the exclusion of patients with burns covering less than 15% or more than 40% of the body surface from the high priority group in order to make sure that the time and materials required for surgery and parenteral therapy will be concentrated on the type of patient most likely to respond favorably. They also involve the giving of electrolytes, protein supplements, and antibiotics orally instead of parenterally and certain economies of timing and materials relating to dressings, ointments, and skin grafting. Rehabilitative measures have to be postponed, and those patients who can be made ambulatory should be discharged to self-care or utilized to help care for the more seriously burned.

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