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May 1949


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Physiology and Industrial Hygiene of the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Medical Services of the Infants' and Children's Hospitals.

Am J Dis Child. 1949;77(5):625-641. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1949.02030040639005

THE STUDY of respiratory diseases in children is handicapped by technical difficulties encountered in applying standard methods of measuring pulmonary function, particularly in the youngest age group. Even when nose clip and mouth piece are tolerated, the psychologic reaction to interference with natural breathing is likely to destroy the validity of measurements. The air flow recorder (pneumotachograph) of one of us (L. S.) and associates1 appeared to offer a minimum of disadvantages in application to children. Its use is the basis for this investigation. The chief advantage of pneumotachographic recording, apart from its accuracy, is the imperceptible resistance to breathing. The use of a comfortable anesthesia mask instead of a mouth piece and the small size of the apparatus, which can be kept out of sight of the patient, are additional advantages.

It has been shown that striking deviations from the normal air flow pattern may be demonstrated with

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