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August 1957

Retrolental Fibroplasia Role of Oxygen.

AMA Arch Intern Med. 1957;100(2):341. doi:10.1001/archinte.1957.00260080167046

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It may seem odd to review a book which deals with a problem uniquely and exclusively in the domain of pediatricians and ophthalmologists, but it gives us some interesting points of departure for general speculation. This conference on retrolental fibroplasia was held more than two years ago. The disease, a model of medically produced trouble, is itself a profound paradox, which tends to refute the all-encompassing generalizations which attribute all disease to stress. We have an essential material, oxygen, which can easily kill when a person is exposed to concentrations which are very high or low. The story of retrolental fibroplasia began with the report by Zacharias and Kinsey, in 1949, demonstrating an increased frequency of retrolental fibroplasia in premature infants exposed for long periods to high concentrations of oxygen. Soon this was confirmed by observations made by Campbell, in Australia, and Crosse, in England, and since then it has

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