Medicine: Alcohol and Pneumonia

Early in this century Sir William Osier, patron saint of modern medicine, discovered that nearly 53% of pneumonia fatalities occurred among drunkards. Two years ago young Dr. Kenneth LeRoy Pickrell of Johns Hopkins Hospital, stimulated by Osier's statistics, set out to learn the exact manner in which alcohol lowered resistance. Last week, after a score of different experiments on 175 rabbits, he reported in the Johns Hopkins Hospital Bulletin the first satisfactory explanation for this important pathological phenomenon.

All his experiments followed the same basic pattern: one group of rabbits was immunized with...

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