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THE USE OF UREA IN THE TREATMENT OF INFECTED WOUNDS

HALL G. HOLDER, M.D.; EATON M. MacKAY, M.D.
JAMA. 1937;108(14):1167-1169. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780140023007.
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Urea in strong solution has a peculiar property of being able to "dissolve" proteins and protein substances. First noted by Spiro,1 this lytic property was not thoroughly examined until discovered independently by Ramsden.2 This "dissolving" of proteins occurs in neutral solutions or solutions of varying degrees of alkalinity or acidity, and since urea is a relatively inactive substance it occurred to one of us that it might be useful in wound therapy for the removal of mucus and other exudates, encrustations and necrotic tissue. Since commencing its use we have found that other investigators have already utilized it for the same purpose but for a different reason. Symmers and Kirk3 more than twenty years ago, as a result of certain bactericidal properties they observed in urea solutions, used this chemical for the dressing of wounds, with excellent results. Millar4 in a short note several years ago

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