RESPIRATORY failure is responsible for about 15 per cent of deaths of premature infants. The cause of this failure has been sought in insufficient development of the alveoli, incomplete development of the neuromuscular and cartilaginous respiratory apparatus and even in the presence of a special, inferior type of hemoglobin; but relatively little attention has been paid to the state of the respiratory centers of these babies.
Levine and others have repeatedly pointed out that there are important differences in vascularization of the central nervous system of full term and of premature babies. Wilson, Long and Howard1 have expressed the belief that insufficient sensitivity of respiratory centers to hydrogen ion stimuli causes the periodic respiration found by them in premature infants.
In the experiments to be reported, we believe that we have furnished additional evidence for the importance of the functional state of the respiratory centers, and we have tried