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doi: 10.1097/ALN.0b013e3181ac718f

Three Editorials—Three Historical Allusions

Davidson, Andrew M.B.B.S., M.D., F.A.N.Z.C.A.

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In Reply:— I thank Professor Roy for his interesting comments regarding our recent article.1 To continue the historical allusion, in 1822 Dr. Buchan, a Scottish physician, wrote: “It is really astonishing, that so little attention should in general be paid to the preservation of infants. What labor and expense are daily bestowed to prop an old tottering carcase for a few years while thousands of those who might be useful in life perish without being regarded!”2 Since then infant mortality has certainly improved, at least in the developed world, but in 2009 a large proportion of drugs including anesthetics still have no infant labeling. Sufficient research to demonstrate efficacy or safety has simply not been done. Almost 200 yr after Dr. Buchan made his observations, infants are still relatively disadvantaged.
Andrew Davidson, M.B.B.S., M.D., F.A.N.Z.C.A.
Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia.
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1. Davidson AJ, McCann ME, Morton NS, Myles PS: Anesthesia and outcome after neonatal surgery: The role for randomised trials. Anesthesiology 2008; 109:941–4

2. Buchan W: Domestic Medicine. London, W. Lewis, 1822

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