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September 2, 1911


JAMA. 1911;LVII(10):792-793. doi:10.1001/jama.1911.04260090014007

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The following history, with accompanying illustration, demonstrates how completely the heart can be displaced into the right side and still for many years perform its function. Indeed, in this case, the mere displacement itself seemed to produce little or no discomfort. Death was indirectly due to the cardiac dilatation, and compensatory failure was not pronounced until late in the case.

History.  —The patient, M. S., a girl aged 19, was of Swedish descent, with light complexion, and "scrofulous." The family history was generally good. She weighed over 14 pounds when born, and was healthy and vigorous until 7 years old. At that time she contracted "a severe cold on the lungs," causing shortness of breath. The family physician opened the pleural cavity, from which a large amount of pus was evacuated. For eleven years there was a continuous drain; consent to operation for radical cure was refused by the family,

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