Every three or four years the conscientious physician must again answer the recurrent question of whether to buy the newest edition of Harrison's textbook of medicine. The physician may ask, Are there substantial changes in the text? Are there important additions?
Although the changes in the newest edition are mostly not substantive, they are indeed numerous and of some importance. For example, infectious mononucleosis is now discussed with diseases of viral origin rather than being included in the section "Diseases of Uncertain Etiology," a section that has now shrunk from four to just three listings. As another example, in the eighth edition, the discontinuation of cold baths in treatment of heat stroke is recommended when the rectal temperature falls below 101 F (38.3 C), while in the seventh edition, the recommendation is made to do so when the temperature falls below 103 F (39.5 C).
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