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April 29, 1939


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JAMA. 1939;112(17):1747. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800170093025

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To the Editor:—  "The Treatment of Delirium Tremens," a contribution of Bowman, Wortis and Keiser in the April 1 issue of The Journal, is of especial interest to physicians who are meeting patients suffering with delirium tremens. It cannot be doubted that this complication of chronic alcoholism is one of the most difficult conditions met by physicians practicing in both general and psychopathic hospitals. The average physician or nurse is not trained in a large municipal and state institution where any considerable number of alcoholic patients are admitted for treatment. Hence many of these patients, being poorly understood, are improperly treated and the death rate therefore is inordinately high.A study which I made some years ago revealed that the mortality from delirium tremens varied from 15 to 50 per cent in various hospitals throughout the country. The article to which reference has been made might well have referred to

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