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A. J. Matthews, MD; Lynn D. Solem, MD
Arch Surg. 1997;132(2):161. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1997.01430260059012.
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Resuscitation of the patient with severe burn injury to achieve adequate organ perfusion is a challenging task for any surgeon. Therefore, any intervention, especially a simple one, that increases the efficacy of the resuscitation process is well-received. Tanaka et al have shown in a guinea pig burn model that ascorbic acid (vitamin C) administered 2 hours following burn injury considerably reduces the required volume of fluid resuscitation. Animals receiving ascorbic acid also had significantly increased cardiac output values, lower hematocrit levels, and decreased burn wound edema, compared with controls.

This study expands on the earlier work of these authors in which they investigated delayed (2 hours) ascorbic acid administration in a third-degree burn model.1 They have demonstrated that ascorbic acid administered in high doses for at least 8 hours following injury significantly improves fluid volume status in guinea pigs with second- and third-degree burns.2,3

The precise mechanisms involved

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