The reputation of alcohol as a cardiac stimulant is as old as our knowledge of medicine. It has been a house-hold remedy for generations and even radical prohibitionists have permitted its use for medicinal purposes. The medical profession in this country have prescribed it freely, and especially in that group of cases under consideration—the acute infections. It has been so securely entrenched in our therapeutic armamentarium that in this country, until very recent years, those who opposed its use in certain acute infections, as pneumonia, were looked on as temperance fanatics. As a preface to the present discussions the therapeutic history of alcohol in Europe during the last century is of interest.
Alcohol was so little used in Germany in the treatment of the acute infections during the middle of the nineteenth century that a physician in Coblentz was held responsible for the death of a typhoid patient for whom alcohol had
MILLER JL. THE PHYSIOLOGIC ACTION, USES AND ABUSES OF ALCOHOL IN THE CIRCULATORY DISTURBANCE OF THE ACUTE INFECTIONS. JAMA. 1910;55(24):2034–2037. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330240012004
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