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May 26, 1906


Author Affiliations

Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics, Diseases of Children, and Clinical Medicine, Tennessee Medical College. KNOXVILLE, TENN.

JAMA. 1906;XLVI(21):1600-1603. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510480028001f

Pneumonia is a self-limited disease and runs its course uninfluenced in any way by medicine. It can neither be aborted nor cut short by any known means at our command. Even under the most unfavorable circumstances it will terminate abruptly and naturally without a dose of medicine having been administered. So also under the favoring circumstances of good nursing and careful diet the experience of many physicians in different lands has shown that pneumonia runs its course in a definite time, aborting sometimes spontaneously on the third or fifth day, or continuing until the tenth or twelfth. We have then no specific treatment for pneumonia. The practitioner may bear in mind that the patient is more often damaged than helped by the promiscuous drugging which is still only too prevalent. In cases of moderate severity a purely expectant plan may be followed—keeping the bowels open, regulating the diet and, if