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December 24, 1973

The Susannah Shandy Sash Syndrome

Author Affiliations

Library of Congress Washington, DC

JAMA. 1973;226(13):1571. doi:10.1001/jama.1973.03230130059032

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The title of the editorial "Small Slam" (224:1414, 1973) and the designation of the Accident Prevention Committee of the American Academy of Pediatrics of the "Toilet Seat Syndrome" are interesting, but redundant. The correct name for this is the "Shandy Syndrome." The original description by Lawrence Sterne of the accident (window sash) to the child Tristram is one of the most memorable passages in English. Sterne's doctorate was divinity, not medicine, but we, nevertheless, may properly recognize his earlier, and agonizingly definitive, description.