The Fire at Cocoanut Grove

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Abstract

On November 28, 1942, a fire broke out at The Cocoanut Grove Nightclub, in Boston, Massachusetts. The fire claimed the lives of hundreds, and injured 170 patients who were treated at either Boston City Hospital or the Massachusetts General Hospital. With extraordinary leadership and scientific focus, this tragedy led to many important advances in burn management, including improvements in burn wound care, the first descriptions of inhalation injury, formulas to guide fluid resuscitation, and the initial studies of antimicrobial therapy with burns. This overview describes the treatment of the Cocoanut Gove victims, and how it transformed the management of burns forever.

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