Because of the possibility that some may not be familiar with this method, I consider it worth while to describe a simple yet effective way to deal with burned hands. My colleagues and I have employed this treatment in a considerable number of cases and have been impressed by the good results obtained. It is applicable to nearly all burned hands, regardless of the degree of the burn, inasmuch as the same surgical principles are involved in each instance.
Since all thermal burns should be sterile by the very nature of the injury, they should remain so until contaminated by droplet infection (commonest1) or by contact with clothing, hands, nonsterile dressings, etc. No attempt is made to "clean up" the injured part unless it has been covered with butter or otherwise grossly contaminated. In this event, under general anesthesia, the hand is soaked in an isotonic sodium chloride solution