Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

15 Sivan 5761 - June 6, 2001 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








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Home and Family
Don't Cool Burns With Water

To the Editor:

Your publishing of an article on the treatment of burns contained a number of dangerous inaccuracies.

Your author states that even in intensive care, prolonged cooling should be done. The burnt skin cannot protect from the low temperatures that prolonged cooling causes, so dangerous lowering of body temperature can occur, as well as more risk of injury. This is a risk in winter and in summer. Ice is always dangerous in the treatment of burns.

Furthermore, tap water is enough for cooling; saline and polydine give no benefit and may be more irritating.

A recent article in the journal Burns concluded that after a few minutes, there are no benefits of cooling except for pain relief. Prolonged cooling does not affect the healing process, indeed it may retard it.

There is no evidence that shortened cooling causes more complications. Indeed, it doesn't prevent blistering, and latest evidence shows that blistering may be beneficial.

It is untrue that cooling prevent scarring or the need for grafting.

Burnshield is an expensive device which is 97% water and has not been shown to affect any parameter in burns.

Protein and pineapple play no role in building healthy tissue.

Unfortunately, these folk remedies and amateur physicians are rampant in our community, yet they can cause significant damage due to their unproven and dangerous therapies. Proof is done with carefully designed clinical studies, not by circulating rumors of how miracles occurred.

I have dedicated myself to improving the medical knowledge of my readers. This was a definite step backwards. Please leave the discussion of treatment of medical problems to those trained in the field.

Sincerely yours,

Joseph B. Liebman, M.D.

Director Emergency Services

Maayenei Hayeshua Hospital


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