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October 1965

Optimum Temperatures for Postburn Cooling

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Kansas University Medical Center, and Veterans Administration Hospital. Associate Professors (Drs. King and Zimmerman). Dr. King is presently with the Department of Surgery, University of Illinois Medical Center, Chicago.

Arch Surg. 1965;91(4):656-657. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320160110026

IT IS NOW well established that the tissue damage2,7 and death rates6 which follow experimental burns can be significantly lessened by the early application of surface cooling. This finding has important implications for first aid and for the management of mass casualty burns. One of the problems which must be resolved before maximum benefit from this technique can be realized relates to the temperature of the cooling solution which can be expected to give maximum benefit. In this study we have investigated the effects of varying the temperature of cold compresses applied to standardized experimental burns in an effort to establish those temperatures which provide optimum improvement in the course of the burn.

Method  Methods have been previously developed for evaluating the capillary permeability changes and edema formation which follow experimental burns of several types.4,9 These techniques will not be reported in detail here, but generally involve

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