Pediatrics: The Deadly Membrane

When a baby is born prematurely, he is especially susceptible to a breathing difficulty that develops into hyaline membrane disease. The inner linings of the lungs get covered with a membrane that prevents the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide and kills the victim. So far, the most expert and concentrated medical efforts have proved virtually helpless against "H.M.D."; it was the cause of Patrick Bouvier Kennedy's death in 1963 when he was only 39 hours and 12 minutes old.

Last week Dr. Daniel Stowens, a Louisville pathologist, said he had found the explanation of H.M.D. and a simple, effective...

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