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December 22, 1900


JAMA. 1900;XXXV(25):1631. doi:10.1001/jama.1900.02460510039002

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Andrew H. Smith discusses the question whether it is advantageous to recognize the existence of inflammation as an intermediate process. Would it not be gainful, he asks, if a more direct interaction between the morbific agent and the reparatory effort was admitted. He points out that the conception of inflammation as an intermediate process is incorrect and in reality confusing. "If we inject sterilized oil of turpentin into the cellular tissues the place becomes red, hot, swollen and painful, not because it is the seat of "inflammation," but because it is the seat of so and so many drops of oleum terebinthinæ." It is claimed that in the textbooks inflammation may be defined correctly enough, but it is treated as systematically and exhaustively as many real pathologic and nosologic entities, the etiology, symptoms, progress and treatment being duly set forth. It is contended that as long as inflammation is conceived

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