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October 1920


Author Affiliations

From the "Sachs" Baby Hospital.

Am J Dis Child. 1920;20(4):316-322. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1920.01910280082002

The calcium metabolism of premature infants has hitherto not been studied systematically. Such a study is, however, well justified by the fact that these infants are more liable to acquire rachitis than full-term babies. It is also a common experience that bone symptoms appear in the prematurely born at an early age, and that the condition more often takes a grave course than in other infants. It has been assumed that this tendency is caused by the absence of a congenital store of calcium, supposed to be present in full-term new-borns. About 85 per cent, of the body's calcium at birth is stored during the last two or three months of fetal life.1 We do not know, however whether the large amount of calcium, thus retained, may in postnatal life really play the rôle of a depôt, the contents of which are available for the processes of growth. Be

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