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March 1969

Human Burn Survival: Study of Efficacy of 0.5% Aqueous Silver Nitrate

Author Affiliations

Miami, Fla; St. Louis
From the departments of surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Fla (Dr. Polk), and Washington University School of Medicine and Barnes Hospital, St Louis (Dr. Monafo and Dr. Moyer). Dr. Monafo is now Chief of Surgery at St. John's Mercy Hospital, St. Louis, and Dr. Moyer is at the Michigan Technological Institute, Baraga.

Arch Surg. 1969;98(3):262-265. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1969.01340090038002

The value and ultimate usefulness of any treatment for extensive thermal burns depends upon conclusive demonstration that the illness is favorably affected in some objective way, preferably by improved survival. This report will present survival data from the first 225 consecutive burned humans whose wounds were treated with gauze dressings continuously wet with 0.5% aqueous silver nitrate.

Population Sample  The study sample consists of all burned patients who were admitted to the Hartford Burn Unit, Barnes Hospital, St. Louis, between June 20, 1964, and June 30, 1966, and to the Jackson Memorial Hospital, Miami, Fla, between July 1, 1965, and April 1, 1967. These individuals range in age from newborn to 96 years and were first seen 15 minutes to five months after burning. Prior treatment, if any, usually consisted of exposure, sterile gauze dressings, or nitrofurazone gauze and, frequently, systemic antibiotics. The extent of partial- and full-thickness thermal injury