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February 1947


Author Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Surgery, University of Sao Paulo Medical School SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
These observations were made while the author was a Fellow in Thoracic Surgery, International Institute of Education, in the Department of Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital, St. Louis.

Arch Surg. 1947;54(2):117-120. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1947.01230070122001

ALTHOUGH the role of vitamin C in wound healing has long been known, its behavior during and after surgical operations was not realized until 1937, when it was shown1 that operation or injury increased greatly the need for this vitamin. This was confirmed a few year later.2 Moreover large concentrations of ascorbic acid are mobilized in areas of injury, an observation3 which may explain the increased needs. A second possible relationship between vitamin C and injury was suggested by its behavior in surgical shock. It was shown, for example, that large doses of vitamin C seem to have a beneficial therapeutic effect in experimental hemorrhage4 and traumatic shock5 even when there is no deficit. Other experiments6 showed that animals deficient in vitamin C were less able to resist the effects of injury on the peripheral circulation. While no specific clinical data are available, the

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