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August 19, 1944


Author Affiliations


From the University of Southern California Department of Medicine.

JAMA. 1944;125(16):1083-1085. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850340009004

It is rarely possible to ascribe to bed rest alone the disorders which become manifest in patients confined to bed during the treatment of disease or injury. Intercurrent illnesses sometimes develop in spite of bed rest, as when myocardial infarction occurs during convalescence from a pelvic or orthopedic operation. In most cases the evil effects of complete bed rest are potentiated by anesthesia, narcotics or other medication or by the results of the original illness. But it must also be recognized that many disturbances of function, such as massive collapse of the lung, attributed to operation, illness, anesthesia or medication have become evident only because the patient was forced to spend hours or days in the dorsal recumbent position.

In any discussion of the effects of complete bed rest it is to be borne in mind that the disorders noted may have been aggravated, or even initiated, by a depression

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