February 1965

Infantile Scurvy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Georgetown University School of Medicine.

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(2):173-176. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020175017

SCURVY IS no longer regarded as a major clinical problem in the United States. With the widespread use of vitamin preparations, ascorbic acid deficiency has virtually disappeared from pediatric practice; many house officers and young physicians regard infantile scurvy as an illness encountered only in textbooks. During a period of six years, not one case of scurvy was reported from the Pediatric Department of the District of Columbia General Hospital. This department serves a large indigent population; approximately 40,000 outpatients and 1,700 inpatients are treated each year.

Recently, an infant with nearly fatal scurvy alerted us to the fact that the classical findings of ascorbic acid deficiency disease might appear as a troublesome diagnostic problem to the young physician who has never encountered this once-common clinical disorder. The following case report is presented as a reminder that the often-forgotten illness still occurs occasionally, especially in infants receiving restrictive diets for