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March 14, 1891


JAMA. 1891;XVI(11):380-381. doi:10.1001/jama.1891.02410630020007

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The treatment of disease of the respiratory tract by the inhalation of gases or medicated air attracted attention in the childhood of medicine. The bringing of the curative agent in direct contact with the diseased surface was apparently so rational a procedure that few could doubt its utility, and yet of all the fantastic methods that have been devised, and the various inhalants that have been introduced with such éclat, none of them attained permanent popularity. This inhalation treatment of phthisis has ever proved an ignis fatuus, leading men into all sorts of pathological sloughs and etiological pitfalls. The discovery of the tubercle bacillus has but added an impetus to the mad race for something that would kill the parasite and not harm the host. Can we hope to kill the tubercle bacillus in the lung by inhalation? Certainly not, because the remedy does not come in contact with the

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