The sedimentation rate of the red blood cells is now universally considered a valuable guide for determining the presence of infection in the body. Many have found it a useful indicator of activity in cases of tuberculosis. Its value in cases of acute rheumatic fever has been repeatedly demonstrated1 and it has become one of the physician's most reliable adjuncts in determining the probable cessation of activity and the duration of the period of rest for patients with this illness.
One of the disadvantages of this test, however, has been the need for withdrawing blood from the veins. The objections to this procedure are obvious in pediatric work. Children dread the pain. In obese patients and in infants it is often difficult to find a vein. Further, it is desirable to spare these vessels for more important therapeutic procedures. Since the value of the sedimentation test usually depends on