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June 15, 1940

The Specific Therapy of the Pneumonias

JAMA. 1940;114(24):2408-2409. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.02810240062026

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Abstract

This little volume contains the Beaumont Lecture delivered before the Wayne County Medical Society on Feb. 20, 1939. It is divided into two parts: first "The Choice of a Remedy" and second "Serum Therapy of the Pneumonias."

In part I the author reviews the difficulties of evaluating new therapies in the pneumonias. A large variety of therapeutic agents—quinine, ethylhydrocupreine, specific and nonspecific vaccines, diathermy, x-rays, deuteroproteose (Brooks) and pneumothorax, each of which in turn has been heralded in recent years as a panacea in the treatment of pneumonia, are noted as illustrations of the extreme caution which must be exercised in evaluating these remedies. Many of the pitfalls in the clinical evaluation of pneumonia therapy are revealed. Emphasis is placed on the importance of presenting the necessary basic data on which mortality in pneumonia depends. These would include the etiologic agent and the serologic "type" where the pneumococcus is involved,

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