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December 23, 1944


JAMA. 1944;126(17):1070-1073. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850520012006

When Elisha, the prophet of Ancient Israel, restored the life of a Shunammite woman's boy by blowing his breath into the mouth of the child, he forced oxygen and carbon dioxide into the lungs under pressure Add to this the obvious expedient of clearing the respiratory passages of the newborn and we have the essence of the modern treatment of asphyxia neonatorum.

A great deal of scientific research and clinical thought has been devoted to this problem during the last ten years, and real progress has been made. This activity has been stimulated by the still appalling death rate among infants1 during the first twenty-four hours of life and also by the growing conviction that a large portion of mental and motor impairment in later life is due to insufficient oxygenation of the brain immediately after birth.

There is still wide disagreement on every essential involved in this problem,

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