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July 15, 1922


JAMA. 1922;79(3):218-219. doi:10.1001/jama.1922.02640030044015

The part played by water in the regulation of bodily heat and the equalization of temperature in the living organism is not as well appreciated as it deserves to be. L. J. Henderson1 has pointed out that water ranks high with respect to three qualities: specific heat, heat of evaporation, and conductivity. The first favors the storage of heat; the second permits of very rapid elimination when necessary, as when environmental temperature exceeds that of the body; the third allows rapid equalization of heat within the fixed tissues of the body, minimizing the possibility of injury from local overheating within or without.

In this country, both Woodyatt and Barbour2 have emphasized the part which the distribution of water in the body plays in relation to the phenomena of fever, which has been defined as "any condition of positive heat balance not due solely to food, exercise or environment."