Medicine: Blood & Water

Into an Indianapolis hospital, three years ago, interns carried a screaming two-year-old girl who had just fallen over backwards into a scalding tub of water. Her burns were not deep, but they stretched from her plump shoulders to her knees. She had a 1-to-3 chance to live.

The doctors washed her, gave her the standard textbook treatment: a coating of tannic acid solution to ease her pain, keep out harmful bacteria, seal in her body fluids. After a severe burn, blood escapes from the capillaries into tissue spaces, and circulation "dries up," stagnates. So...

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