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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 10, 1998


Author Affiliations

Edited by Brian P. Pace, MA, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 1998;279(22):1778L. doi:10.1001/jama.279.22.1778

One of the last lessons that a physician has to learn is that a child is not a little man. At birth the child is a very incomplete human; it increases in size rapidly during the first few months of extra-uterine life, but this rapid growth of its organs is of course at the expense of the stability, in other words, the resisting power of the organism to abnormalities of all kinds. The blood of infants and young children is especially prone to undergo changes from slight causes and, as a rule, the younger the individual the less the effort needed to throw the blood off its balance, so to speak. For instance, lesions causing a slight leucocytosis or an anemia in an adult would be very likely to bring about a marked leucocytosis or an anemia of high grade in a child.

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