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For years it has been my custom, both in practice and in teaching, to insist upon absolute rest in bed in cases of heart disease with destroyed compensation. My opinion was based upon the consideration that the only period of rest enjoyed by the heart was during diastole, and since the heart beats more slowly in a recumbent than in an erect position or during exercise, the diseased heart should be encouraged to beat slowly. Moreover, I was supported in my belief by the statements of such weighty authorities in medicine as Balfour and Liebermeister. The latter has reported an instructive case of a business man who had a serious valvular lesion, and who every now and then overstrained his heart to the point of threatened loss of compensation. He would enter the hospital and after three or four days of treatment and upon relief of his most urgent symptoms
BABCOCK RH. REST IN THE TREATMENT OF DISEASES OF THE HEART.Read at the Meeting of the Tri-State Medical Society at Jacksonville Ill., Oct. 2-3, 1894.. JAMA. 1894;XXIII(20):739-741. doi:10.1001/jama.1894.02421250001001