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May 27, 1944


JAMA. 1944;125(4):302. doi:10.1001/jama.1944.02850220064027

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To the Editor:—  It is surprising the number of physicians and even qualified medical authors who confuse the terms "prone" and "supine." Recently I heard an address by an eminent professor of medicine who said that he catheterized patients in the "prone" position. One of the leading books on treatment, speaking of the heart, says that when a patient suffering heart symptoms is given hypodermic medication he should be in the "prone" position. A recent article in The Journal makes the same error, which the author corrected in later correspondence. In the dictionary prone is defined as "lying flat with the face downward" and supine as "lying on the back."

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