November 1963

Telephone in Diagnosis of Respiratory Diseases

Author Affiliations

Harvey Kravitz, MD, 9243 Avers, Evanston, Ill.; Departments of Pediatrics, St. Francis Hospital, Evanston, and Lutheran General Hospital, Park Ridge, Ill.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(5):471-472. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050473013

Introduction  The telephone can be an aid in the transmission of the sounds of respiratory diseases from patients to the physician and aid in the diagnosis of some of the leading causes of death in infants and children.The telephone is often the medium by which a mother brings respiratory diseases to the attention of the doctor. Every doctor can recall the inexperienced mother who frantically calls, "My child can't breathe" or "My child is choking." She may be misinterpreting the coryza of an upper respiratory infection. Conversely, an inexperienced mother may interpret severe bronchiolitis as a mild cold; the infant may be found dead in its crib due to lack of communication and proper cross-examination and evaluation of the symptoms by the physician. It is important for the physician not to fall into a trap by improper questioning of the parent. This can be avoided by having the mother

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