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Preface

Contents

V

PREFACE

The contents of this volume comprise two sections, the one, devoted to the pathology of acute respiratory diseases; the other, to the pathology of gas gangrene following war wounds. These two subjects were chosen as the most important conditions of the war from the standpoint of pathology.

The first section is divided into a brief description of critical nature of the whole subject; the pathology of acute respiratory diseases at those camps on which sufficient data were available to give a good general picture of these diseases; an illustrated description based on the articles used in describing the pathology in the various camps and in the American Expeditionary Forces and on the specimens and protocols of necropsies in the collections of the Army Medical Museum; and a brief resume of the bacteriology.

That part of the first chapter, which concerns the acute respiratory disease in the various camps, is based on articles published in current medical journal during or soon after the war. Medical officers were encouraged to prepare articles, for immediate publication, on the diseases affecting the Army, with view of assisting in solving the perplexing problems in connection with these diseases, particularly influenza. Most of this material was forwarded to the publishers by the Surgeon General, with the avowed intention of making use of it later in compiling the medical and surgical history of the World War.

It was also the policy of the Medical Department to send specimens, resulting from necropsies, to the Army Medical Museum where personnel was available properly to preserve and file such material for the purpose of future study. Similar action was taken in the American Expeditionary Forces, which results in sending to the United States a large number of specimens illustrating wounds of war, largely amputated limbs, as well as numerous specimens from necropsies on acute respiratory and other diseases.

No general reference list on the acute respiratory diseases is included herein. The literature reviewed is listed in the catalogue of the Army Medical Library under the titles influenza and pneumonia. Most of the important articles for this section were written by medical officers and were based on their experience in the service of the Army of the United States. Acknowledgment is here made to all of these officers for their splendid contributions to our knowledge of the acute respiratory diseases not only in these writings but also in the specimens and protocols which they have added to the collections of the Army Medical Museum. Though only a few of the articles written by medical officers appear as references herein every one on the subject of the acute respiratory diseases has been of value in some way in the preparation of this volume.

The second section is based on personal experience, the protocols and specimens of the Army Medical Museum collection, articles written by medical officers of the Army, and the literature.


VI

The discussion of the organisms is based largely on unpublished articles prepared by Majs. A. P. Hitchens, M. C., and Benjamin Jablons, M. C. These articles reviewed in abstract the entire subject of the bacterial etiology of gas gangrene and were invaluable. Capts. T. H. Sweetser, M. C., and R. T. Petit, M. C., made valuable studies on the incidence of gas gangrene and on the relation of the bacteria to the clinical course and outcome of infected wounds. These are included in the text.

The technique used in the preparation of the pathological tissues for study and in their photography is included in the appendix, in order that results similar to those recorded herein may be obtained by others if desired. It was prepared largely by Capt. R. W. French, Infantry. Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following persons for their assistance in the technical work of pathology and photography: Maj. Theodore Bitterman, S. C., Capt. R. W. French, Inf., and Roy M. Reeve, F. E. Prior, Garnet Jex, L. W. Ambrogi.Walter Parker and Edward V. McCarten.