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November 6, 1937


Author Affiliations

New Haven, Conn.

JAMA. 1937;109(19):1561-1562. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780450065026

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To the Editor:—  Why is it that clinicians who nowadays generally recognize—at least in words—the dependence of the healing art on the fundamental sciences nevertheless often in practice neglect the plain teaching of those sciences and follow the suggestions of commercial advertisements and sales agents?A case in point is the treatment of babies who, because of asphyxia or narcosis, fail to breathe spontaneously at birth. Anatomy teaches that the lungs of such babies are atelectatic; that is, collapsed. Physiology teaches that for respiration to be developed the lungs must first be at least partially inflated. Yet time after time for the past twenty-five years, under various names, a certain type of apparatus for artificial respiration that obviously violates the principles of both these sciences has been more or less successfully foisted on clinicians.Such apparatus is designed and expressly advocated not only to blow air into the lungs, which,

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