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October 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Vanderbilt University.

Arch Surg. 1940;41(4):1038-1042. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210040227013

Many studies have been made on the subject of toxin formation as a result of burns. The fact that such abundant evidence both for and against the formation and absorption of toxin has been collected attests to the difficulty of experimentally proving or disproving its existence.

Most of the recent studies have been directed either toward demonstration of a toxin in the blood of burned animals or toward its demonstration in extract from the burned area itself. Thus Robertson and Boyd1 reported that they had found a toxin in the whole blood and in the cells of burned animals which was not present in the serum and that alcoholic extracts of burned skin proved toxic on injection into guinea pigs, whereas similar extracts of normal skin produced no toxic symptoms. Their second study was repeated by Underhill and Kapsinow,2 who found that an alcoholic extract of normal skin

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