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July 1938


Arch Otolaryngol. 1938;28(1):10-19. doi:10.1001/archotol.1938.00650040017002

When Ambroise Paré said that he dressed the wounds but God healed them, he was enunciating in the metaphysical manner of his age a physiologic fact of profound importance. Without the presence in the body of those defensive and reparative mechanisms which come into action as the result of injury, whether mechanical or bacterial, the organism could not survive, but Paré alone of his age appreciated and acknowledged this fact. Four hundred years later we of the medical profession are scarcely less ignorant of what immunity actually is. Immune bodies, opsonins and the like, are, when all is said and done, only postulates to explain a pathologic theory, not proved facts, however much we may delude ourselves. Yet without this defense mechanism, whatever it may be, all our therapeutic skill and surgical technic would be unavailing. In the treatment of acute infections in particular we are dependent for success on

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