Medicine: Out of the Fire

Of the hundreds burned in Boston's Cocoanut Grove fire last November, all who had deep burns on more than 30% of their bodies died — except one. Last week that amazing survivor, a 22-year-old Coast Guardsman named Clifford Johnson who had 55% of his skin burned, was recovering. Doctors reported the treatment had made medical history.

Nearly half of Clifford Johnson's body had third-degree burns. He lay on his belly for months, shrank from 168 to 112 lb.; two months after the fire he was all but dead. Doctors treated his burns with triple aniline dyes; they dosed him with sulfonamides, given...

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