H.J. Klasen: History of burns

H.J. Klasen: History of burns Eur J Plast Surg (2005) 27:351 DOI 10.1007/s00238-004-0661-7 BOOK REVIEW David P. Mackie Erasmus, Rotterdam, 2004, 632 pages, ISBN 90 5235 168 6, e80.00 Published online: 6 November 2004 Springer-Verlag 2004 It has been a pleasure to review this handsome volume on development of composite solutions and the (ongoing) the history of burns. Surprisingly, this is the first modern debate on the role of colloids in resuscitation. attempt to cover the history of burns, and for this reason It must be said, however, that there are some short- alone the work is an important contribution to the history comings. As Dr. Klasen admits in his introduction, it has of medicine. In clear, pleasant prose, Professor Klasen proved impossible to cover every topic related to a traces the evolution of our understanding of burn injury, complex subject such as burn injury. However, I was with reference to the prevailing scientific thinking of the disappointed at the absence of a thematic discussion of times, through the centuries up to the present day, pro- infections and of the hypermatabolic response, both of viding a fascinating insight into the steady accumulation which have been (and continue to be) central issues in the of knowledge in this field of medicine. Dr. Klasen shows treatment of burns. I hope that Dr. Klasen will fulfil his how this experiential basis lies at the heart of the re- ambition to correct these omissions at a later date. markable improvement in the survival of burn patients The book is informative and pleasant to read. In ad- which we have witnessed in the past 50 years. dition, the volume is a serious academic study of a ne- The book is arranged in a number of chapters, each glected area of medical history. There is a comprehensive discussing a separate theme. Many, such as the chapter on index and, more importantly, a bibliography of more than the classification of burns, are highly relevant to current 2000, well chosen references. The foreword was written debate; others, including the section on the enzymatic by Bill Monafo, who, sadly, died last year. The volume dbridement of wounds, remind us that the search for has been handsomely produced on high-quality paper, and optimal wound therapy is far from over. The chapter the text is enlivened by numerous portraits and illustra- detailing the development of the surgical treatment of tions. The whole is an attractive publication, which is sure wounds is particularly good. There is also a fascinating to interest those who wish to review the fundamentals chapter on the role of silver in burns. The real highlight, underlying current burn treatment, and to all who are however, is the section detailing the development of ef- generally interested in the history of medicine. fective fluid therapy, from early observations on cholera and the first use of fluids in treatment of shock, to the D. P. Mackie ( ) Red Cross Hospital, Beverwijk, The Netherlands e-mail: dmackie@rkz.nl http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png European Journal of Plastic Surgery Springer Journals

H.J. Klasen: History of burns

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Copyright © 2005 by Springer-Verlag
Medicine & Public Health; Plastic Surgery
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