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February 1936


Am J Dis Child. 1936;51(2):255-272. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1936.01970140019003

A few years ago a preliminary report was made regarding the occurrence of occult blood in the stools of infants during the first ten days of life.1 Although all stools were not examined, 30 per cent of those that were contained occult blood, and in the stools of only eight infants was blood absent throughout the study. The phenomenon occurred too persistently to be ascribed to contamination by parenteral blood, to such alimentary lesions as ulcers or fissures, to sepsis or to typical hemorrhagic disease. At that time it was suggested that the bleeding might be due to an intense hyperemia of the mucosa of the small intestine caused by the first products of digestion, by the primary invasion of the alimentary tract by bacteria or by both. During the course of this investigation it soon became apparent that if the many problems encountered were to be analyzed, the scope