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November 22, 1965


JAMA. 1965;194(8):907. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03090210071024

Of the various facets of homeostasis, not the least perplexing to the clinician is that of acid-base balance. Its diagnostic and therapeutic approaches enshrouded in a fog of conceptual and semantic confusion, it often leaves him stranded without scientific bearings.

The "Symposium on Acid-Base Balance," in the November issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine helps lift the obscuring mist. "Ordinarily in reviewing a given subject," states Eichenholz1 in his introduction to the symposium, "a didactic presentation of established facts combined with a definition of the most important problem remaining to be solved is sufficient. Any presentation of acid-base concepts has the additional obligation to deal with widely and strongly held beliefs in facts that do not exist."

Elaborating on some of the erroneous beliefs in nonexistent facts as reflected in conflicting, overlapping, or unrelated definitions, Nuttall2 in his contribution to the symposium tackles boldly the problem posed