The Response to Trauma

MacPhee, Ian Weir (1952) The Response to Trauma. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Within the strict limits of the clinical experiment described, evidence has been presented of increased activity of the adrenal cortex following injury. Rather less convincing evidence has been presented of a similar increased adrenocortical activity following a variety of injuries and disease processes. As the various stimuli appear to have evoked a similar response, they have been termed stress factors. Important electrolyte changes in the body have been studied and these changes, perhaps for the first time, have been proved rather than ascribed to be due to the adrenocortical response. No evidence has been obtained in this study of diminished cortical steroid production following stress. In consequence, the features of such a reduced activity have not been discussed. Although such an increased adrenocortical activity following stress has been demonstrated, what the real nature of the activity entails has not been determined. Whether the response is even protective to the organism can be no more than conjectured. What relationship the altered cell metabolism bears to the hypothetical protection afforded lies beyond our present knowledge. It would be naive to imagine that an organ essential to life has not some important part to play in the body economy following injury. To assume that such a reaction is necessarily for the good of the body as a whole is to appeal to the teleological argument. Such an assumption, though usually implied in medical investigations, must be proved in every aspect. The writer believes that there is some evidence indicating that the protection afforded, if any, may be to the cells of particular tissues; the whole organism benefitting from the continued function of its parts, but suffering from the measures that the tissues take to protect themselves. An investigation such as the present one cannot elucidate what ultimate function the adrenocortical response serves in the body economy, but simply when and to what extent the response occurs, how it may be recognised, and what gross changes in metabolism result. How far these requirements have been fulfilled remains to be determined.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Medicine, Surgery
Date of Award: 1952
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1952-78860
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2020 14:45
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2020 14:45

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