This section is from the book "Research In Physiopathology As Basis Of Guided Chemotherapy With Special Application To Cancer", by Emanuel Revici. Also available from amazon: Research In Physiopathology
The pain of burns has been successfully treated with higher alcohols such as butanol, heptanol or polyunsaturated alcohols. However, here the problem is not so simple since pain is only one, and not the most important, of the manifestations. Systemic functions are often so greatly impaired as to represent the immediate cause of death. The higher alcohols are effective in controlling pain and local troubles, while other agents are needed when the condition also involves the systemic level. Glycerol and especially sterols which are present in the insaponifiable fractions of organs such as placenta, are very helpful in these cases. Anuria of several days' duration has been influenced in several cases, with abundant diuresis occurring only a few hours after the administration of 2-4 cc. of a 10% solution of the insaponifiable fraction of placenta, an effect not obtained with butanol alone, even in large doses. The effect was still more impressive when large doses of butanol, such as 10 cc. of the 6.5% solution every hour, were administered for a few hours before injection of the insaponifiable fraction.
The addition of sodium lactate to butanol in sufficient amount has been seen to favorably influence systemic problems related to burns. Experimentally, we have shown the value of this preparation in extending the survival time of mice.
Under ether anesthesia, adult mice were scalded in water at 90°C for three seconds up to the xyphoid appendix. The survival period for untreated animals was short. Of the various preparations used, the buta nol sodium lactate mixture seemed to be the most active in prolonging survival. (See Note 13, Chapter 10 and Fig. 138)
Ultraviolet ray burns, such as occur in sunburn, have been treated with butanol in several hundred cases. We started with 5 cc. of the 6.5% solution orally, and repeated the dose every 10-15 minutes until the painful sensation disappeared. When the burning sensation reappeared, treatment was resumed. It could be seen that butanol not only controlled pain rapidly and completely but also that the skin lesions healed in a shorter time than in untreated subjects.
X ray and radium burns in animals and humans have responded to the same substances as mentioned above. Standardized ulcerated radiation lesions were inflicted in rats by inserting, between the lips of a skin incision, a needle with radium in platinum or monel metal. A needle with 25 mg. radium in monel metal was kept in place for two hours, one with 10 mg. in platinum for 96 hours. Ulcerations resulted and took four weeks or more to heal. In animals treated with sterol preparations, such as insaponifiable fractions of placenta, wounds healed in much shorter time. Similar effects could be obtained with butanol, although less consistently.
Good results were obtained with the same treatment in radiation burns in humans. In relatively new lesions, pain was relieved after a day or two and rapid healing usually followed. Even in old burns which had not healed for many years, pain was controlled in less than a week and the lesions started to heal. In some of these, scars developed in less than a month.