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July 6, 1946

Current Comment

JAMA. 1946;131(10):828. doi:10.1001/jama.1946.02870270028014

CLINICAL ASPECTS OF THE SPECIFIC GRAVITY OF THE BLOOD  In 1684 the English chemist Robert Boyle1 determined that blood is heavier than water. The studies thus initiated have led to important advances in the treatment of shock. While the same general results have been obtained with different methods, the investigations, physiologic and clinical, by Stebbins and Leake,2 Polowe3 and others with the falling drop method of Barbour and Hamilton4 revealed clearly the importance of changes in the gravity of the blood. This method, notable for accuracy, was used with great success by Scudder and his associates5 as a guide in the treatment of shock. Rogers6 is credited with the first clinical use of estimates of blood gravity, which he found valuable in 1913 as a guide to the treatment with fluids of the dehydration in Asiatic cholera. The

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