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Article
July 30, 1904

THE RELATION OF ALCOHOLISM TO THE NATURAL PROCESSES OF RESISTANCE.

JAMA. 1904;XLIII(5):336. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.02500050044015
Abstract

With many physicians alcohol has always been a standby in septic conditions. Patients with septicemia are filled with whisky, despite the depressant effects of large doses of alcohol, as if the alcohol were expected either to kill the bacteria in the circulation or at least to neutralize their toxins. Yet there are many facts that do not harmonize with this procedure, and a large number of physicians assume either a sceptical or a strongly antagonistic attitude toward the beneficial results claimed for alcohol in septicemia. No one will question the greater mortality of pneumonia in alcoholics as compared with that in normal individuals, and pus infections usually progress with excessive virulence in patients with delirium tremens; in general, chronic alcoholism seems to lower decidedly resistance to infectious diseases. It is, therefore, quite reasonable to question the idea that acute alcoholic intoxication will protect against these same infections. As far as

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