Many children now die at birth or within the neonatal period who could and should live. Among these fatalities the largest group is that which results from one or other of such related conditions as primary or secondary failure of respiration, inadequate expansion of the lungs, and pneumonia developing from atelectasis.
The knowledge requisite to save a large percentage of these lives is now available. It is clear and certain. The method of its application is simple and inexpensive. It is merely an inhalation of carbon dioxide in oxygen for a few minutes several times a day during each of the first few days of life. Every new-born child, even those that appear normal, should receive this treatment as a prophylactic to insure early and complete relief of atelectasis. The hazard of neonatal pneumonia is thus largely eliminated. For the prevention of blindness, disinfection of the eyes with silver nitrate
HENDERSON Y. INCOMPLETE DILATATION OF THE LUNGS AS A FACTOR IN NEONATAL MORTALITY. JAMA. 1931;96(7):495–499. doi:10.1001/jama.1931.02720330015004
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