REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE OF RESPIRATORY DISEASES OF THE PAST YEAR
Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Woodward1 has made a study of the respiratory diseases as a factor in the causes of infant mortality. In 1913 in the first year of life the diseases of the respiratory system ranked third in the causes of death ; 15.85 per cent, of the total deaths were due to respiratory diseases; 25 per cent, of the mortality from respiratory diseases at all ages occurred in the first year of life. Bronchitis and pneumonia caused 96 per cent, of the deaths by respiratory diseases in infants. The mor¬ tality
... . The mor¬ tality in cities was slightly higher than in the country. The third week of life was the maximum danger period for bronchitis and pneumonia. He concludes that prevention of death in infancy from respiratory dis¬ eases is a task which requires the united efforts of the prenatal nurse, obstetrician, midwife, pediatrician and infant welfare station. Haynes2 believes that vital statistics do not measure the importance of respiratory diseases, since most patients recover, but a vast amount of damage is done which is not shown by the death rate. The ordinary infectious cold results in ear, kidney and cardiac damage of no small amount. From November to June the bulk of pediatric practice is due to respiratory diseases. Forty per cent, of the deaths in the first five years are due to respiratory conditions and 25 per cent, of all deaths from respiratory diseases are in the first five years. Rickets, infectious diseases, enlarged adenoids and tonsils all predispose greatly to respira¬ tory infection. There are certain anatomic factors in the young which render any respiratory inflammation serious ; that is, the narrowness of the respiratory passages, nose, larynx, bronchi, which are easily obstructed by the secretions, the shape of the thorax, the soft ribs, and the habitually recumbent position. Lowering of resistance by cold, fatigue, autointoxication or poisoning by food or chemical substances are also important predisposing factors. The actual infection usually takes place by spray from the mouth and nose discharges of an infected person. The helpless infant must be protected from dust, both outdoors 1. Woodward, W.