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October 1925


Author Affiliations

From the Children's Medical Department, Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Department of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1925;30(4):483-490. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1925.01920160037003

During studies on the metabolism of children in the Children's Medical Laboratory of the Massachusetts General Hospital, it became clear that whereas basal metabolism measured heat production, no data were being obtained concerning heat elimination. Since this can only be measured by direct calorimetry, which is not practicable at the present time, other methods of obtaining an indication of the factors which influenced heat loss were sought. It was, therefore, decided to make a series of measurements of skin temperatures of normal and pathologic subjects to determine the reaction of the skin under different conditions. This paper presents some of the findings in the normal series.

Although the thermo-electric needle was used in 1835 by Becquerel and Breschet,1 there are very few satisfactory measurements of surface temperatures by this means since that time, with the exception of Benedict's work on adults, the first report of which appeared in 1919,