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20th-Century US Child Health Care: Past, Present, Future

20th-Century US Child Health Care: Past, Present, Future Abstract This essay sketches the progress in and achievements of child health care (CHC) and the profession of pediatrics during the first four fifths of the 20th century. It emphasizes some important changes in content, education, organization of provision of care, financial aspects, and political forces for each era. It ventures a few predictions and suggestions regarding the remainder of the century. THE FIRST THREE DECADES: 1900-1929 At the start of the century physicians provided emergency CHC, which most often involved infectious diseases. Specific drug therapy for infections was nonexistent. Meningococcal meningitis was 75% fatal; other forms were almost 100% fatal. Streptococcal disease was at its horrifying worst, with empyema, meningitis, quinsy, mastoiditis, and erysipelas as common manifestations. Diphtheria antitoxin and meningococcal antiserum were developed but were far from satisfactory. Preventive care consisted of prescribing complicated formulas, ascorbic acid and vitamin D, and general hygiene (fresh air, proper clothing, bathing). Pediatricians http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Journal of Diseases of Children American Medical Association

20th-Century US Child Health Care: Past, Present, Future

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1984 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.
ISSN
0002-922X
DOI
10.1001/archpedi.1984.02140470004002
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract This essay sketches the progress in and achievements of child health care (CHC) and the profession of pediatrics during the first four fifths of the 20th century. It emphasizes some important changes in content, education, organization of provision of care, financial aspects, and political forces for each era. It ventures a few predictions and suggestions regarding the remainder of the century. THE FIRST THREE DECADES: 1900-1929 At the start of the century physicians provided emergency CHC, which most often involved infectious diseases. Specific drug therapy for infections was nonexistent. Meningococcal meningitis was 75% fatal; other forms were almost 100% fatal. Streptococcal disease was at its horrifying worst, with empyema, meningitis, quinsy, mastoiditis, and erysipelas as common manifestations. Diphtheria antitoxin and meningococcal antiserum were developed but were far from satisfactory. Preventive care consisted of prescribing complicated formulas, ascorbic acid and vitamin D, and general hygiene (fresh air, proper clothing, bathing). Pediatricians

Journal

American Journal of Diseases of ChildrenAmerican Medical Association

Published: Sep 1, 1984

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