Tannic Acid Fights Burns
Prompt application by firemen of tannic acid on the burns of a two-year old boy, a survivor of a fatal fire at South Bend, Ind., did much to soothe pain and start a smooth healing of the scorched tissue.
The boy and a brother were rescued by their parents when an oil stove exploded. Flames prevented the rescue of a four-year old sister. Firemen who responded applied a spray of tannic acid to the burns of the victims.
Tannic acid as a treatment for severe burns is a comparatively new way of relieving the intense pain when large parts of the skin are scorched. Prompt action prevents bad scars and starts healing at once. The spray is applied over a large area quickly, and as rubbing of the skin is eliminated, needless pain is prevented. As the spray supplies a coating, there is little danger from infection. Tannic acid sprays are now carried as standard equipment on fire apparatus.
Dr. Royal S. Copeland, whose writings have appeared in many newspapers, states:
“Neglect or faulty care of a burn leads to serious scarring and permanent disability. Heart trouble and other complications may set in on the fourth or fifth day, or even earlier. It will be seen how essential it is to receive immediate care for this serious accident.
“Within recent years great strides have been made in the treatment of burns with tannic acid. The application of tannic acid causes the burned tissues to become tanned and leatherized.”
According to the U. S. Public Health Service, burns cause one-third more deaths among children of pre-school age than automobile accidents. These burns did not include those received in conflagrations, but were chiefly those received in and about the home. At the ages of one, two, three and five, the deaths from burns per 100,000 children were 22, 20, 18 and 17 respectively.