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June 21, 1902


JAMA. 1902;XXXVIII(25):1627-1628. doi:10.1001/jama.1902.02480250021010

Now and again death takes place abruptly, without premonition, or possibly after some trivial cause not sufficient in itself to bring about the fatal event. If such an occurrence be sequent to injuries received at the hands of another, or alleged thus to have been inflicted, it may become a matter of medicolegal importance to determine the exact part played by all of the possible etiologic factors. Under such circumstances postmortem examination may at times disclose some wholly unsuspected morbid condition as the cause for the sudden taking off. The most common cause for such an event is disease of the heart, particularly involving the aortic leaflets and orifice, while among the acute inflammatory disorders that may pursue a latent course throughout the entire period of their existence pneumonia is one of the most common, if not the most common. As the result of an analysis of 33 cases of