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August 29, 1908


Author Affiliations

Professor of Clinical Medicine in the Medicochirurgical College and Physician to the Medicochirurgical Hospital. PHILADELPHIA.

JAMA. 1908;LI(9):747-748. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410090029001i

Venesection in cardiovascular affections is referred to by many authors, but it receives scant attention in actual practice. Recently, two physicians in active practice for several years reluctantly admitted at the bedside of a patient that they had never performed a phlebotomy.

That venesection has become neglected is due, first. to inherited prejudice because of its indiscriminate and unjustifiable use years ago, at which time it was the fashion to bleed healthy individuals each spring; second, to the fear that the abstraction of blood would weaken one already diseased; third, to the objection to its use by the laity, who are prone to believe that if death subsequently occurs, it is due to blood-letting; fourth, to a failure on the part of many physicians to recognize clearly the indications and limitations of this procedure; and fifth, to the erroneous belief that a small, weak, rapid pulse is an absolute contraindication

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