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March 25, 1893


JAMA. 1893;XX(12):319-327. doi:10.1001/jama.1893.02420390001001


The characteristics of the pulse in pneumonic fever are so striking that they could not escape the attention of the earliest medical observers, and we find them mentioned by Hippocrates, Aretæus, Cœlins Aurelianus, and others down to the time of Razes who made a special study of the subject. To be sure the deductions to be drawn from the phenomena observed previous to the time of Harvey must have been largely overdrawn, yet many of the facts were clearly and tersely stated.

At the beginning of the attack the pulse is usually somewhat, and occasionally greatly accelerated, although in rare instances it remains normal, or even may be diminished in frequency. When the disease is once fully established, however, the almost invariable rule is for the pulse to be accelerated, ranging usually from 90 to 120 per minute. At this stage of the disease it is rare to