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May 1942


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, the University of Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1942;44(5):819-828. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1942.01210230043004

The treatment of burns in war injuries has brought out important points not hitherto well recognized. First, it has been found that the tannic acid treatment is not so satisfactory as is commonly stated.1 Second, the life-saving value of plasma replacement has been satisfactorily demonstrated. In the light of this knowledge, a variation of the treatment of severe burns is here presented.

With the introduction of the tannic acid treatment of burns by Davidson in 1925,2 there was a sharp decline in the mortality and morbidity rates associated with severe burns. Subsequently, many variations of the method were employed. Most of these were aimed in particular at tanning the burned area, although dyes which combined tanning action with bacteriostasis were widely employed.

In 1925, Davidson2 advocated the application of 2.5 per cent solution of tannic acid to produce a tough membrane over the burned areas. The design