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April 2, 1938

The Family in Health and in Illness

JAMA. 1938;110(14):1138-1139. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790140070036

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This book, prepared primarily for college students but with the purpose of continued usefulness after graduation, is a household manual of health and disease, containing much useful reference material but with certain glaring defects. It attempts too much in some instances, with the result that its treatment of certain topics is inadequate, and it contains statements with which many physicians will disagree. For example, the routine use of commercial mouth washes is said to be "commended as a routine habit." By whom other than the manufacturers? Sulfanilamide gets a paragraph; this is either too much space in such a book or too little, especially when it includes the following invitation to self medication: "Sulfanilimide is effective when taken by mouth and does not produce marked physical reaction." Descriptions of the uses of procaine, ephedrine and epinephrine in one sentence as drugs which are used "to shrink the congested membranes and

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