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April 22, 1939


Author Affiliations


From Northwestern University Medical School.

JAMA. 1939;112(16):1566-1569. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800160030007

With tragic abruptness a child with an apparently ordinary infection of the upper respiratory tract with moderate difficulty in breathing may choke up suddenly, fight desperately for air for a short time and die, and at autopsy the appearances of acute laryngotracheobronchitis are found. Though there may have been few physical signs, the tracheal and bronchial mucosa may be red, thick and even ulcerated, the bronchi and bronchioles may be filled with thick secretions, plugs or crusts, and areas of the lungs may be atelectatic or emphysematous.

Some men have never recognized such a condition and consider it a rarity. Others who have not seen what early and proper treatment can do for it think it hardly more than an academic problem to be studied post mortem. In the light of published experiences there can be no doubt that it occurs often and that, while it is serious, with decision,