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August 1938


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Am J Dis Child. 1938;56(2):275-286. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1938.01980140045006

Convulsions in infants and children occurring during acute infectious diseases are sometimes minimized in their importance and seriousness by physicians. Many feel that a convulsion is either a manifestation of invasion by the infecting organism or the result of a high body temperature and is not in itself a serious clinical entity. However, this is not true of convulsions complicating pertussis, since the general mortality rate of 5 to 10 per cent for all hospitalized patients having pertussis uncomplicated by convulsions increases to 60 to 80 per cent when convulsions are present.

The purpose of this report is to point out the clinical features peculiar to convulsions occurring in 41 patients with pertussis, admitted to the Philadelphia Hospital for Contagious Diseases from 1933 to 1936, to attempt to determine the causes of their occurrence and to evaluate methods of combating them.

ETIOLOGY  In this series of cases the factors predisposing

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