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September 1955

The Exposure Method of Burn Treatment: Observations With Particular Reference to the Use of Hydrocortisone

AMA Arch Surg. 1955;71(3):424-430. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1955.01270150118014

The management of the burn wound has recently undergone a revision in principle in the minds of many investigators. The "closed," or "pressure," dressing has been supplemented by the "exposure," or "open air," technique. The latter is neither new nor by any means the most popular concept today. Not all burns should be handled by the exposure method. The closed method is utilized primarily for extensive circumferential burns. The value of topical sprays and ointments as an adjunct to the exposure method is questioned. The use of a hydrocortisone antibiotic ointment in the closed method appears to be of value in selected cases, as does the use of parenteral hydrocortisone.

The exposure method of burn treatment is not new. The first reference to this method in the American literature was that of Copeland,1 in 1887. From that time until 1949 there were only occasional references to this technique in

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