Excerpt from Buffalo Medical Journal, Vol. 35: August, 1895, to July, 1896
In other ways the baby gained more slowly. The emaciation and digestive disturbance were too grave to disappear at once, yet in a month, with absolutely nothing but dietetic treatment, the child was practically well. Such is the history of the only case of infantile scurvy as yet reported in this city.
Infantile scurvy cannot be regarded as a common malady in this country, as Dr. Northrup, in February, 1894, after an exten sive correspondence, was able to collect only 106 American cases.
I have invited attention to a disease whose etiology is under stood and whose treatment has been perfected. The cause is probably biological and chemical, -deprivation of fresh food. A cure follows the administration of fresh fruits, vegetables and meat.
In 1883, Drs. Barlow and Cheadle first proved that scurvy occurred among infants in cities as well as among seamen. A baby, even amidst luxurious surroundings, may as easily develop scurvy if it be fed on a dried milk food or condensed milk as a sailor from eating salt pork and hard tack in the polar seas. As a result of a high civilisation the disease has disappeared among sailors, but is now found among the children of the well-toldo. Nearly all cases of infantile scurvy have been discovered in wealthy families, where the parents were able to buy expensive proprietary foods Of malted grain and dried milk.
Poor children are given potatoes, an admirable antiscorbutic, and other articles of adult diet at a very early age. It is reason able to suppose that infantile scurvy is steadily on the increase, as the Operating cause, feeding Of babies on patent foods, grows more frequent. As I believe that scurvy in children is occasion ally overlooked and as a knowledge of its symptoms may be the means Of saving life, a review of the various phases of the disease may not be amiss.
Scorbutic babies are generally rachitic; not that rickets is a part of the disease, but simply exists as an associated condition.
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