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This is an interesting review about the origin and uses of hydrogen peroxide, especially in neurosurgery. However, its uses are ubiquitous and applicable to several medical specialties. When hydrogen peroxide was first discovered in 1818 by Louis Thenard, it had few practical uses and was mainly used to facilitate the understanding of molecular architecture. Dr BW Richardson first studied its human effects by ingesting it himself! He concluded that it could be inhaled, injected, or rubbed on the skin. He even recommended it to be injected subdermally to resuscitate asphyxiated individuals. Today its applications are diverse, ranging from healthcare to textiles to rocket propellants and the military. In healthcare, hydrogen peroxide is used for its haemostatic and antiseptic effects. Its antiseptic effects are controversial while its effect on wound healing could be detrimental, causing damage to keratinocytes and fibroblasts. In neurosurgery and other surgeries, it is often used as a haemostatic agent. The authors caution users about the risk of gas embolism and direct neural toxicity when using it.

Origin and use of hydrogen peroxide in Neurosurgery.
Bailey D, Rizk EB.
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Gauri Mankekar

Department of Otolaryngology-Head Neck Surgery, Louisiana State University Shreveport, Louisiana, USA.

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