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September 23, 1939


JAMA. 1939;113(13):1183-1187. doi:10.1001/jama.1939.02800380001001

Shock or its equivalent, by whatever name the era in question gave it, has been known since man came on the earth. Primitive men and women, in their struggle for existence, survived or died of shock from injury, trauma, hemorrhage and sickness. Hippocrates undoubtedly gave admonitions about the "bodily aliment" that we know as shock and called attention to the facial experssion—the hippocratic facies—observed in those dying of cholera, which is a typical example of medical shock and differs in no wise from surgical shock save in etiology. And similarly, the pathologic lesion of shock and allied states, although not desgnated by the term "shock" until during the eighteenth century, can be traced down to the present era.

In 1568 William Clowes recognized shock and attributed it "to the presence of a foreign body in the wound or in the blood." John Hunter in 1784 wrote concerning the shock syndrome