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Much has been written, pro and con, on the use of digitalis in pneumonia. It is not my purpose to review the literature, which is as confusing as anything that can be found in medicine. I shall confine myself largely to a statement of the clinical results following the use of fairly large doses of the drug in this disease as it occurs in private practice. The therapeutic nihilism of the past decade has come to regard as the ideal method of managing pneumonia the do-nothing policy of treating symptoms as they arise. The enormous mortality rates following such a policy is sufficient reason for trying to do something better.
In this disease we have two general indications from start to finish: 1, to get rid of the toxins as far as possible, until Nature is able to furnish her antitoxin; 2, to sustain the heart and circulation, on which
REILLY TF. THE USE OF DIGITALIS IN PNEUMONIA.. JAMA. 1908;LI(26):2214. doi:10.1001/jama.1908.25410260016001d