Vaccine for Burns May Be Possible
Research based on a new technique for reducing the toxic effects of burns may result in a vaccine to generate natural immunity to burn toxin.
At the suggestion of Dr. Sol Rosenthal of Chicago, and with the help of the U. S. Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Chicago hospitals used the new technique in treating those children most severely burned in last December’s Chicago school fire. A paper written at the Chicago branch of the Office of Naval Research gives this explanation of the treatment:
A severe burn (perhaps all severe injuries) results in a release of toxic material into the blood stream. This toxic material is injurious to the remote tissues of the body. The badly burned individual produces antibodies slowly, often too slowly to combat the effects of the toxin on the blood and on blood vessels. Such an individual may succumb to the toxic effects of a bum.
To combat this threat, the victim is given a transfusion of blood from another individual who has recently recovered from bad burns. The blood, because of the donor’s burn experience, is high in antibodies against the toxin.
When a jet fighter plane crashed on the deck of the aircraft carrier Essex last May 28, the Navy used the technique to save those burned in the crash.