New Drugs, Old Problems: The Sulfonamide Revolution and Children ’ s Health Care Delivery in the United States, 1933-1949

Using pediatric patient records housed at the National Library of Medicine, Dr. Cynthia Connolly explore the transformation wrought by the sulfonamides in medical and nursing practice at Baltimore ’ s Sydenham Hospital. Published articles, oral histories, and physician memoirs reveal only part of the story of one of the twentieth century ’ s most pivotal scientific breakthroughs. Through patient records, which rarely survive intact, it is possible to appreciate the ways in which the new therapeutics demanded more intense bedside care, enhanced laboratory facilities, and new levels of cooperation. It also reveals how and why the care of infants and children with infectious diseases made demands on physicians and nurses that differed from those facing clinicians treating adult patients. Finally, the clinical practices, policy debates, and legal infrastructure that arose in in the context of the sulfonamides provided a template for pediatric drug development going forward that exists into the current day.Air date: 10/15/2020 2:00:00 PM
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