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March 1954


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, University of Louisville School of Medicine, the Louisville General Hospital, and the Childrens Hospital.

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1954;87(3):343-353. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1954.02050090331010

IN THE absence of any specific remedy, the medical care of poliomyelitis patients requires (a) an understanding of the natural history of the primary disease with its numerous secondary complications and (b) a discriminating clinical capacity to individualize each whole patient so that the best available symptomatic management and anticipatory guidance is provided. In the acute-stage care of complicated cases, physicians representing several unrelated medical and surgical specialties are involved. Under such conditions it is essential that one physician, be he family doctor, internist, or pediatrician, take the helm and assume over-all clinical responsibility. This simple point is often overlooked, resulting in anxiety and confusion concerning the immediate prognosis and the ultimate outlook for restitution to a normal life.

For convenience, the management is discussed according to the clinical form of poliomyelitis, i. e., abortive, nonparalytic, and paralytic. It must be clearly understood that one form may evolve into a

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