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February 22, 1908


JAMA. 1908;L(8):615. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.02530340043010

Picric acid has proved such a satisfactory dressing for burns and scalds that it has come to be widely used of late years for that purpose. Internally, the picrates may be used in doses of from 9 to 15 grains a day (Erb), and the possibility of the absorption from a burned surface of enough to produce toxic symptoms is usually disregarded. That this may occur, however, is shown by a case recently reported by Meurice.1 A girl of 14 had sustained a second degree burn, the diameter of the lesion being not more than an inch and a half, and within twenty hours of the application of a solution of picric acid she developed headache, vertigo, nausea and vomiting. Picric acid was recovered from the urine, which was brownish in color, and contained methemoglobin and abundant albumin. The symptoms gradually cleared up after the removal of the dressing.