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The phenomenon accompanying injury to the phrenic nerves in adults has been studied from many angles. There are cases of therapeutic phrenic exeresis, and more rare accidental injuries, especially by lacerated and puncture wounds of the neck. The recognition of injury to the phrenic nerve in new-born babies is a comparatively recent advance.
Weigert reviewed thirty cases of diaphragmatic paralysis, of which two were in the new-born. Kofferath, in 1921, made the greatest advance in the knowledge concerning this condition when he described the value of fluoroscopic examination of the chest. Following this came contributions by Friedman and Chamberlain in 1926, Dyson in 1927, F. Schweitzer in 1927, Epstein in 1927, Zeligs in 1928, Mulzer in 1928 and Remé in 1930.
Studying the data presented by these authors, we note respiratory difficulty of various grades of severity in the new-born, owing to injury of the unilateral phrenic nerves, and consequent