Burn historical perspective

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]Associate Editor-In-Chief: Eman Alademi, M.D.[2]


The first case of burns injury was discovered from more than 3,500 years ago. French barber-surgeon Ambroise Paré was the first to describe different degrees of burns in the 1500s. For many decades after original description, there was little progress in defining the pathogenesis of burns occurred and different treatment. In the 1900's, it was found that the development of modern burn care began by Arabian physician his name Rhazes, at about the ninth century. In 1940's major advances procedure was acknowledged(skin graft). to improve the body structure and early wound healing of patients. The term was subsequently formally adopted in medical nomenclature to describe individuals of all ages with a characteristic common symptom pattern, disease causes, and treatment.

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Burns injury was discovered from more than 3,500 years ago, since the people use the fire either to prepare the food or to warm themselves.

  • many types of treating records during the centuries, Egyptians treated burns by incantations and a mixture of gum, goat's hair, and milk from a woman who had given birth to a son[1].
  • In the 1500 BCE (years before Christ) Smith papyrus reports of some type of linen strips soaked in an oily preparation ( honey and the salve of resin)[2].
    • (1) Celsus described treatment with a honey and bran, and then cork and ashes(wine and myrrh) documented to 100 CE.
    • (2) Pliny the Elder wondered if it would not be better to allow burns to remain exposed to the open air rather than covering them with grease.
  • Paulus of Aegina, a Byzantine of the seventh century A.D. whose writings reflected Greco-Roman thought, used various emollient preparations.
  • In the 1940s, the importance of early excision and skin grafting was acknowledged, and around the same time, fluid resuscitation and formulas to guide it were developed. In the 1970s, researchers demonstrated the significance of the hypermetabolic state that follows large burns [4][5][6][7].


  1. Artz CP (1970) Historical aspects of burn management. Surg Clin North Am 50 (6):1193-200. DOI:10.1016/s0039-6109(16)39279-9 PMID: 4922817 DOI: 10.1016/s0039-6109(16)39279-9 PMID: 4922817 DOI: 10.1016/s0039-6109(16)39279-9
  2. Pruitt BA, Wolf SE (2009) An historical perspective on advances in burn care over the past 100 years. Clin Plast Surg 36 (4):527-45. DOI:10.1016/j.cps.2009.05.007 PMID: 19793549 DOI: 10.1016/j.cps.2009.05.007 PMID: 19793549 DOI: 10.1016/j.cps.2009.05.007
  3. Moiemen, NaiemS; Lee, KwangChear; Joory, Kavita (2014). "History of burns: The past, present and the future". Burns & Trauma. 2 (4): 169. doi:10.4103/2321-3868.143620. ISSN 2321-3868.
  4. "Google Scholar".
  5. "History of burns: The past, present and the future | Burns & Trauma | Full Text".
  6. Pećanac M, Janjić Z, Komarcević A, Pajić M, Dobanovacki D, Misković SS (2013) Burns treatment in ancient times. Med Pregl 66 (5-6):263-7. PMID: 23888738 PMID: 23888738

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