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December 20, 1884

The Usefulness of the Nose in Diagnosis.

JAMA. 1884;III(25):693. doi:10.1001/jama.1884.02390740021003

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—Probably every physician sees times in his examination of patients, when he devoutly wishes he had no olfactory nerves, or, since to be deprived of the sense of smell would at the same time also deprive him of the possibility of certain keen enjoyments, he prays for that happy condition of the farmer, who, when asked by a young theologian, if he objected to his saying grace at the table, replied, "Oh, no! say what you have a mind to, you can't turn my stomach." Unpleasant as the possession of a nose often is, there are occasions when its delicate appreciation of odors is fortunate. Nay, furthermore, it seems sometimes serviceable in guiding a physician to a correct diagnosis. All are familiar with the fetor of the air expired in cases of pulmonary gangrene. Likewise, the breath of patients suffering from chronic copper and lead poisoning has a foul, strongly

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