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ARTICLE |

THE VITAL CAPACITIES OF ONE THOUSAND SURGICAL PATIENTS

HERMAN J. MOERSCH, M.D.
Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1926;37(1):128-143. doi:10.1001/archinte.1926.00120190131012.
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The function of respiration has commanded the attention of physicians from the earliest history of medicine, and many fascinating theories were expounded in ancient times to explain it. Galen probably was the first investigator to have an approximately correct conception of its purpose. Nevertheless, for 1,500 years or more, the truths he advocated were disputed and submerged by superstition. It may be safely stated that the first great epoch in our knowledge of respiration began with the investigation of the circulation by Harvey and the publication of his first work in 1628. It was about two centuries later that studies were made on the vital capacity of the lungs and, while studies had been previously made, it was not until the appearance of the classical monograph by Hutchinson1 in 1846, "On the Capacity of the Lungs and on the Respiratory Functions with a View of Establishing a Precise and Easy

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