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March 19, 1887

THE THERAPEUTIC VALUE OF OXYGEN.With Reports of Cases Treated.

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JAMA. 1887;VIII(12):315-317. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02391370007001a

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Regarding the availability and applicability of factitious oxygen as a therapeutic agent, there has prevailed, and still prevails, a very general professional misconception. This stereotyped estimate is based on the reports of early investigators, particularly those of Lavoisier, who asserted that his birds, dogs, rabbits and guinea-pigs, when immersed or a short time in an apartment or receiver filled with crude oxygen gas (derived from and doubtless tainted by the bungling decomposition of an oxide of mercury,) became excited and preternaturally lively, which condition was followed by more or less physiological depression. Considering the crude state of chemical science at the time, and the questionable processes employed, it is easy to understand that these results were not necessarily attributable to the newly discovered gas, the nature of which was being eagerly and none too honestly investigated. These hasty and superficial impressions seem to have been accepted without question and without

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