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Cirugía Plástica Ibero-Latinoamericana

versión On-line ISSN 1989-2055versión impresa ISSN 0376-7892


SALMERON-GONZALEZ, Enrique et al. Historic evolution of burn care. Cir. plást. iberolatinoam. [online]. 2020, vol.46, suppl.1, pp.9-16.  Epub 22-Jun-2020. ISSN 1989-2055.

Burn treatment is such an ancient science as human conflicts, and it has had to be refined and adapted to the improvements in military technology throughout history. Fire has probably been one of the first double sided weapons developed by humanity during its technologic development. This element has both served to improve life conditions of societies, and to destroy them causing terrible suffering.

In this article, we perform a chronological exposition of the evolution of burn treatment, presenting the more relevant scientific figures of each time, and their contributions. Also, conflicts and disasters that coincided with these scientists are described, as in most cases, the work developed during those catastrophes eased the advancement of this field. The objective of this historical review is to provide the reader with certain knowledge about the path this science has followed until reaching its actual state.

The first existing reference to burn treatment goes back to an egyptian papyrus written around the year 1500 b.C. Since then, each relevant figure in the field of Medicine of their time proposed their own treatment for burns; which in most cases, had no scientific basis according to current paradigms. However, since the 16th century, certain advancements in different fields of burn care were described, reaching an important development during the 19th and 20th centuries, when industrial and scientific revolution coexisted with the Great Wars, which provided wide experimental and observational fields. Therefore, and thank to scientific discoveries of the last centuries, burned patients present survival rates that were unconceivable years ago.

We remark that highlighting that adversity, studied through scientific methodology, might serve as an opportunity to improve quality of life of upcoming generations.

Palabras clave : Burns; Burn patient; Burn treatment; Burn history.

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