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Before plunging into the indiscriminate use of drugs which have the property of causing the heart to beat more strongly, it is well to consider what provision has already been made in the same direction by the body itself, and also what is the precise object of such intervention in a particular case.
The heart is wonderfully responsive to the demands of the body when subject to exertion or disease. In acute conditions, stimulation in the sense of urging the heart to expend more energy is seldom demanded except in sudden emergencies. Fever is a great heart stimulant, as is also inflammation.
The use of the term "heart stimulants" in reference to drugs that are used in the course of disease with the idea of assisting the heart and preventing the failure of its powers when they may be most needed, is a crude employment of words and has led
BISHOP LF. THE RELATION OF NATURE'S PROVISION FOR HEART STIMULATION AND CONTROL TO THE USE OF CARDIAC DRUGS IN ACUTE DISEASE. JAMA. 1904;XLII(13):820. doi:10.1001/jama.1904.92490580010001b
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