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July 9, 1938


Author Affiliations

President, Chicago Board of Health; CHICAGO

JAMA. 1938;111(2):134-141. doi:10.1001/jama.1938.02790280024005

Although there has been a definite reduction in mortality throughout the United States for infants under 1 year of age during the last twenty years, but little reduction has occurred in mortality for infants under 2 weeks of age. A further reduction in neonatal mortality will depend on a determination of the factors responsible for the deaths.

METHOD OF INVESTIGATION  Our investigation of the deaths of infants1 showed that a large majority of death certificates in Chicago did not contain the true cause of death. The true cause in many cases was not known and could not be established without a satisfactory necropsy. During 1936 a campaign was undertaken to increase the number of satisfactory necropsies on infants.By carefully studying the anatomic diagnoses, clinical records and laboratory results, accurate data concerning causes of infant deaths were obtained. Cerebral hemorrhage, congenital malformations, pneumonia and asphyxia were found among the