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Frederick M. Allen, M.D.
JAMA. 1954;154(1):81-82. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940350083027.
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To the Editor:—  There is need to correct inaccuracies in the recent literature on surgical hypothermia. Lewis (Surgery33:52, 1953) refers first to Fay and "a little later, regional refrigeration." My work (Tr. A. Am. Physicians52:189, 1937; Surg., Gynec. & Obst.67:746, 1938; Surgery3:893, 1938; Arch. Surg.38:155 [Jan.] 1939) antedated Fay experimentally and clinically, though the two lines of work were separate and independent. Lewis continued that regional refrigeration "seems no longer to be of interest. Other anesthetic agents are better." This statement is true to the extent that local refrigeration has been largely abandoned, unjustifiably, and mostly by surgeons who find refrigeration inconvenient because they have not acquired the technique. Skilled anesthesia of other kinds may sometimes not aggravate shock, but refrigeration is the sole method that can prevent shock. Lewis accepts the benefits of systemic hypothermia while ignoring the shock


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