Giving a burns patient a saline bath, Queen Victoria Hospital, Holtye Road, East Grinstead, West Sussex
Two orderlies giving a burns patient a saline bath. In September 1939, Archibald McIndoe arrived at the Queen Victoria Hospital to run the new Centre for Plastic and Jaw Surgery, bringing with him key members of his operating theatre staff. McIndoe was the Consultant Plastic Surgeon to the RAF, and during his time at the Queen Victoria Hospital treated thousands of patients who had suffered burns. The medical techniques he used were pioneering, and went on to form the basis of burns treatment worldwide. McIndoe treated burn injuries by keeping the wounds open, washing wounds with saline, and regularly changing dressings. The discovery that saline could be used to promote healing was, some say, a serendipitous discovery following observation of the healing rates of injured pilots who had landed in the sea. In addition to developing these treatments, McIndoe recognised the importance of social rehabilitation of patients. In 1947 McIndoe received a knighthood. The Queen Victoria Hospital remains renowned in England for its expertise and treatment of burns.