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Autopsy and Medicine
December 7/21, 1998

Case of the MonthNot-So-Obvious Uses of the Autopsy

Kim A. Collins, MD; Clay A. Nichols, MD; Randy Hanzlick, MD; et al and the Autopsy Committee of the College of American Pathologists
Arch Intern Med. 1998;158(22):2429-2430. doi:10.1001/archinte.158.22.2429

A 33-YEAR-OLD black man was admitted with second- and third-degree burns over 50% of the total body surface area. The burns were not considered life-threatening and were treated with fluid replacement, debridement, and silver sulfadiazine. Neither fasciotomies nor skin grafts were required. The patient's condition improved initially but then deteriorated slowly during a 3-week course. Chest x-ray films showed increasing bilateral infiltrates with some focal nodularity, and the mediastinum was also perceived to be widened. On the 23rd hospital day, the patient died. There was no clinical evidence of local burn wound infection or systemic sepsis.

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