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July 5, 1919


JAMA. 1919;73(1):38. doi:10.1001/jama.1919.02610270042015

A biologist recently remarked that our laboratories resemble "up-to-date shops for quantity production of fabricated hypotheses"—that they are full of fashions and go from one extreme to another. A reviewer of the literature on shock might well have the same conviction. Shock, like many other pathologic phenomena, is the result of an interplay of numerous agencies which may be initiated in different ways. One observer centers his attention on some particular factor in the community of causes while he notes the familiar end-result. Another person concentrates his interest on a different link in the chain of events to which he, in turn, assigns the cause for the identical final occurrence. The symptomatic similarity is obvious to all. The confusion of etiologic standpoints has been caused by the narrowness of vision.

Despite the steady succession of rejected theories of shock, we must not despair of obtaining sooner or later a clearer

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