The literature on the subject of burns is voluminous and the theories that have been offered as an explanation for the effects produced by burns are numerous. In 1898, the four prevailing theories as to the cause of death after extensive burns when Bardeen1 reviewed the literature and presented his excellent studies were:
1. It is due to interference with the respiratory, the excretory and the heat regulating functions of the skin. 2. It is due to vasomotor exhaustion. 3. It is caused by injury to the red blood cells with resulting thrombosis. 4. It is due to toxemia. Advances in the understanding of the mechanism whereby extensive burns produce death have not been marked during the past thirty years. The prevailing theory is and was that the deleterious effects are due to the absorption of toxic products from the injured area. On the contrary, distinct advances have been
BLALOCK A. EXPERIMENTAL SHOCK: VII. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LOCAL LOSS OF FLUID IN THE PRODUCTION OF THE LOW BLOOD PRESSURE AFTER BURNS. Arch Surg. 1931;22(4):610–616. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1931.01160040086005
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