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May 1, 1943


JAMA. 1943;122(1):40-41. doi:10.1001/jama.1943.02840180042016

Future generations may find it difficult to understand why it is taking us so many years to appreciate the significance of reduced temperature. Little thought has been given to temperature physiology by most of us, except for rather empirical fever observations. Attempts are still made to keep tissues at "normal" temperature in spite of the rebellion of many patients with peripheral vascular disease. The usefulness of maintaining life processes at a reduced rate by lowering the temperature is still not generally understood. Perhaps this is due in part to the erroneous tradition that external heat should always be applied for the prevention and treatment of traumatic shock.1

Recent reports indicate that in combat areas military surgeons are largely occupied with the care of injuries of the extremities. The older methods of anesthesia for these cases are not completely satisfactory. In minor cases general anesthesia frequently seems out of proportion