In the course of work on refrigeration anesthesia at New York City Hospital it seemed advisable to make studies on temperatures of tissue in order to determine: (1) the optimum temperatures necessary for satisfactory anesthesia; (2) the duration of refrigeration necessary to obtain these temperatures; (3) the minimum temperatures above which tissue must remain in order to avoid damage.
As these studies were in progress other observations became of interest, namely, the effect of the tourniquet; the optimum temperatures for prolonged refrigeration in the treatment of burns, frostbite and infections, and, finally, the temperatures that were effective and safe for reducing pain in conditions such as arthritis and neuritis.
The methods of refrigeration studied included the use of cracked ice, ice water, ice bags, electric fan plus water spray, ethyl chloride spray and mechanical refrigeration. The latter was obtained by means of a refrigerating unit1 which cools a fluid (35
SAFFORD FK, NATHANSON MB. CLINICAL OBSERVATIONS ON TISSUE TEMPERATURES: PATHOLOGIC AND THERAPEUTIC EFFECTS. Arch Surg. 1944;49(1):12–22. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1944.01230020015003
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