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December 1922


Author Affiliations

From the Pediatric Division of the New York Nursery and Child's Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics, Cornell University Medical College.

Am J Dis Child. 1922;24(6):497-507. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1922.04120120048002

Since water is the medium in which the physical and chemical processes of the body take place, variations in the amount of the body fluids must be of great importance in the changes which occur during health and disease. The demonstration by Balcar and his associates1 that fever may be produced by dehydrating animals makes the subject of particular interest in new-borns in whom fever and dehydration occur so frequently.

A number of observers believe that transient fever in the new-born is due to dehydration. This belief is based on the fact that the fever usually occurs at the time of the greatest weight loss in infants who have lost much weight. The loss of weight, it is assumed, indicates a water loss.

Objection has been raised to this conception of "inanition fever"2 because many new-born babies lose considerable amounts of weight without developing fever while others develop

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