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February 28, 1959


JAMA. 1959;169(9):927-932. doi:10.1001/jama.1959.03000260025006

The brine bath is part of an active program of treatment for decubitus ulcers. The brine is a solution of 5% crude rock salt and 2.5% magnesium sulfate. The temperature is about 37.8 C (100 F) at the beginning but should be adjusted to the patient's tolerance; it is allowed to decline during the 20 minutes of administration. The Hubbard tank is preferred to a tub because the patient can be more easily helped and underwater exercise can be given. The bath is part of the local treatment, which also includes other forms of physical therapy and may call for surgery; in addition the general condition of the patient needs attention. Motivation and instruction in self-care may be necessary. These recommendations are based on experience with some 1,400 patients with spinal cord injuries over a period of 12 years, with an average of 20 patients receiving brine baths each day.