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September 1941

Vitamin K.

Author Affiliations

By H. R. Butt, M.D., Instructor of Medicine, Mayo Foundation, University of Minnesota, and A. M. Snell, Professor of Medicine, Mayo Foundation, University of Minnesota. Price, $3.50. Pp. x + 172, with 39 illustrations and 14 tables. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders Company, 1941.

Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1941;68(3):662. doi:10.1001/archinte.1941.00200090289013

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Vitamin K is one of those substances which from time to time appear in medicine suddenly, entering the field with a fine flourish and performing in such a spectacular fashion that for a time they come to occupy the center of the stage.

Vitamin K was found unobstrusively. The original papers describing its usefulness in the treatment of a scurvy-like disease of chicks were published between 1929 and 1934. As so often happens, several years lapsed before clinicians realized the possible implications for human beings of a deficiency disease in chicks characterized by easy bleeding and relievable by a fat-soluble vitamin occurring in hog liver, hemp seed and certain cereals and vegetables. But in 1938 three independent papers drew attention to the fact that what was termed vitamin K had definite usefulness in overcoming the bleeding tendency encountered in cases of obstructive jaundice. Subsequently there has sprouted up a voluminous

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