MAJOR surgical conditions of the hands befalling soldiers are common and present a most serious problem. There are two main groups into which these problems may be classified: (1) burns and (2) trauma.
Burns and trauma of the hands are particularly important because of the loss of function which frequently follows these conditions. Burns and trauma to other parts of the body may often be considered as problems in healing and cosmetics, but rarely do they present problems in function as complex as the function of the hands. From the time that first aid is administered, function of the hands must be considered. Otherwise disaster is met.
First degree burns and second degree burns, unless extremely extensive, are rarely serious problems. Burns involving all the layers of the skin and those involving skin and deeper structures are most serious. The so-called third degree burn will be especially considered.The