Rosenthal1 and Malm2 in this country and Feodorov3 in Russia have claimed that plasma from survivors of severe burns has a beneficial effect when infused into individuals suffering from fresh severe burns. Feodorov4 postulates the presence of a specific burn toxin to which the convalescent plasma contains specific antibodies. This conclusion is based on the demonstration of systemic anaphylaxis in guinea pigs sensitized by a single subcutaneous injection of serum experiments reported here were attempts to duplicate the conditions specified by Feodorov. Reasons for the discrepancy are not clear.
The supply of convalescent plasma is limited. Production, isolation, and concentration of any beneficial factor from normal donors require clarification of the nature of the phenomenon. Specificity is at the crux of this matter. The experiments reported here do not support the concept of a substance or burned skin extract taken from animals burned 2 days earlier.