The importance of the body fluids was recognized by Celsus something like twenty centuries ago. Yet it is within the lifetime of most practicing physicians of today that administration of fluid for its own sake has become a widespread life-saving measure. The reason that general recognition of this factor in treatment has been comparatively recent is probably that chemical methods were necessary before studies of metabolism could be exact and that investigations of water metabolism were consequently delayed. Rubner in Europe and Rowntree1 in this country have given great impetus to investigation of the subject last mentioned. For the most part, the indications for restoration of lost fluids are well known. However, the rationale of the introduction of fluids in cases of burn, as recently emphasized by Underhill2 and by Bancroft3 is not so widely recognized.
Just as other injuries cause shock, so does a burn; but