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Reginald H. Smart, M.D.; Hurley L. Motley, M.D., Ph.D.; Joseph F. Boyle, M.D.
JAMA. 1958;168(15):2054-2057. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.63000150032023.
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Each day in hospitals in the United States, deaths due to respiratory acidosis occur among patients seen in all fields of medical and surgical practice. Although certain clinical signs should alert physicians to the presence of this condition, all too often it is unrecognized. Because these patients die a chemical death, autopsy will not demonstrate the cause. However, before death, simple, accurate laboratory procedures can be performed which will quickly establish the diagnosis and permit effective treatment. These should be available in every hospital. A brief study of the pathological physiology involved demonstrates the pathogenesis of this condition and provides the basis for prompt recognition and proper treatment. Effective therapeutic measures are available, and, if respiratory acidosis is recognized and adequate treatment instituted in time, the majority of these patients' lives can be saved. The written review of this film appears on page 2053 of this issue. (This film is


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