THE prescription of bedrest for patients with acute rheumatic fever is a time-honored practice. Cheadle1 placed rest second only to the prevention of chilling in the items important in the therapy of acute rheumatic fever. Taussig and Goldenberg,2 in a roentgenologic study of heart size in children with rheumatic fever reported that children without demonstrable increase in the size of the heart and those in whom cardiac enlargement had failed to progress were found to be those who had been kept at complete rest in bed for long periods. Of the patients with progressive cardiac enlargement only 50% had been kept in bed and these for only short periods during the acute phase of their illness. They concluded that increasing strain upon the heart in the presence of active infection makes matters worse, and they urged absolute rest in bed throughout the period of active infection.
Grossman BJ. Early Ambulation in the Treatment of Acute Rheumatic Fever: A Controlled Study in Children With Acute Rheumatic Fever Treated With Prednisone. Am J Dis Child. 1968;115(5):557–569. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1968.02100010559005
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