Polio Wars: Sister Kenny and the Golden Age of American Medicine

By Naomi Rogers

In the course of international warfare II, polio epidemics within the usa have been considered because the country's "other battle at home": they can be neither anticipated nor contained, and paralyzed sufferers confronted incapacity in an international unfriendly to the disabled. those realities have been exacerbated by means of the clinical community's enforced orthodoxy in treating the affliction, remedies that as a rule consisted of useless treatments.

Polio Wars is the tale of Sister Elizabeth Kenny -- "Sister" being a connection with her prestige as a senior nurse, no longer a non secular designation -- who arrived within the US from Australia in 1940 espousing an unorthodox method of the remedy of polio. Kenny approached the illness as a non-neurological disorder, championing such novel remedies as sizzling packs and muscle routines instead of splinting, surgical procedure, and immobilization. Her care embodied a distinct form of medical perform, one among positive, patient-centered remedies that gave wish to determined sufferers and households.

The Kenny procedure, at the beginning disregarded via the USA clinical institution, won overwhelming aid over the consequent decade, together with the endorsement of the nationwide origin for childish Paralysis (today's March of Dimes), America's greatest sickness philanthropy. by means of 1952, a Gallup ballot pointed out Sister Kenny as such a lot favorite girl in the US, and he or she went directly to function knowledgeable witness at Congressional hearings on medical examine, a starting place director, and the topic of a Hollywood movie. Kenny breached specialist and social mores, crafting a public character that combined Florence Nightingale and Marie Curie.

By the Eighties, following the invention of the Salk and Sabin vaccines and the March of Dimes' withdrawal from polio learn, so much americans had forgotten polio, its cures, and Sister Kenny. In reading this old arc and the public's technique of forgetting, Naomi Rogers provides Kenny as a person worthy remembering. Polio Wars recalls either the fervour and the practices of scientific care and explores them of their personal terms.

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S. medication” long island occasions December five 1941. a hundred and seventy. Editorial “The Kenny approach to therapy within the Acute Peripheral Manifestations of childish Paralysis” JAMA (December 20 1941) 117: 2171–2172. 171. Kenny to pricey Mr. O’Connor, December 27 1941, Public kinfolk, MOD-K; Kenny to pricey Dr. Gudakunst, December 14 1941, Dr. Don W. Gudakunst, 1941–1944, MHS-K. 172. Kenny to expensive Mr. O’Connor, December 27 1941, Public kinfolk, MOD-K. 173. [Review of] “Elizabeth Kenny The therapy of childish Paralysis within the Acute level” JAMA (January 10 1942) 118: 179. 174. DWG to BO’C Memorandum: Re pass over Kenny, January 19 1942, Public kin, MOD-K. one hundred seventy five. Kenny to Sirs [JAMA] January 18 1942, Public kinfolk, MOD-K. 176. Compere to pricey general practitioner Guderkunst [sic] January 27 1942, Public relatives, MOD-K. 177. Ibid. 178. Kenny to pricey Dr. Compere, February sixteen 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K; see additionally Kenny to expensive Dr. Fishbein, January 24 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K. 179. Kenny to pricey Dr. Compere, March 2 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K; Fishbein to expensive Sister Kenny, January 28 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K. one hundred eighty. Compere to expensive omit Kenny, March 6 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K; Compere to expensive leave out Kenny, March 15 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K. 181. Kenny to pricey Dr. Compere, March 17 1942, Dr. Edward L. Compere, 1942–1945, MHS-K. 182. J. D. Ratcliff “Minutemen opposed to childish Paralysis” Colliers (October nine 1943) 112: 18; “Dr. Don Gudakunst, Paralysis specialist” manhattan occasions January 21 1946; “Medical leader In Polio force Dies In resort” Chicago day-by-day Tribune January 21 1946; see additionally “Don Walsh Gudakunst” JAMA (January 26 1946) one hundred thirty: 234; Benison Tom Rivers, 276–278. 183. DWG to BO’C Memorandum, December 10 1941, Public family, MOD-K; “Sister Kenny gets Parent’s journal Award” mom and dad journal (December 1942) 17: 38. 184. Kenny [paper “I desire to current to you”] “Handed to DWG via pass over Kenny, 12-16-41 in Minneapolis,” Public family, MOD-K; Kenny to pricey Dr. Gudakunst, December 31 1941, Public kin, MOD-K. 185. DWG to BO’C Memorandum: Re omit Kenny, January 19 1942, Public relatives, MOD-K; Salter to expensive Don [Gudakunst], January 23, 1942, Public kin, MOD-K; Gudakunst to expensive Larry [Salter], December 19 1941, Public relatives, MOD-K. JAMA, he complained to O’Connor, “has performed a slightly bad activity of reporting her work”; DWG to BO’C Memorandum: Re leave out Kenny, January 19 1942, Public family members, MOD-K. 186. DWG to BO’C Memorandum: Re leave out Kenny, January 19 1942, Public relatives, MOD-K; Salter to expensive Don [Gudakunst] January 23 1942, Public family members, MOD-K; see additionally Gudakunst to expensive Larry [Salter], January 21 1942, Public kinfolk, MOD-K. 187. Gudakunst to expensive Larry [Salter], December 19 1941, Public family members, MOD-K. 188. Gudakunst to expensive surgeon Viets, January 17 1942, Public kinfolk, MOD-K. 189. Gudakunst to expensive Larry [Salter], December 19 1941, Public relatives, MOD-K. a hundred ninety. Gudakunst to expensive health professional Compere, January 29 1942, Public kinfolk, MOD-K.

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