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November 1957

Early Care of Burns

Author Affiliations

U. S. A. F.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(5):718-719. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280170028014

If the patient is seen immediately after the burn in a first-aid situation, the burn should be wrapped in clean towels or sheets except for the face, which is left exposed, and no attempt should be made to remove clothing. A chemical burn should be bathed with copious amounts of water. Time should not be lost by attempting to find or mix neutralizing agents. In the severe burn, morphine or meperidine (Demerol) should be given intravenously, owing to the possibility of cumulative effect in patients in shock. The area of the body surface burned almost universally has been estimated by the use of Berkow's rule of nines or a modification thereof. The head and neck are represented as 9% of the total body surface, each arm 9%, each leg 18% (2×9), the anterior trunk 18%, the posterior trunk 18%, and the perineum 1%. The burn which is pink or mottled

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