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Finkelstein, Heinrich


FINKELSTEIN, HEINRICH (1865–1942), German pediatrician. Finkelstein was born in Leipzig where he studied medicine. From 1894 to 1901 he was assistant at the children's clinic of the Charité Hospital in Berlin. In 1901 he took over the management of the Berlin City Orphanage and in 1918 became director of the Kaiser und Kaiserin Friedrich children's hospital. He held this position until the Hitler regime forced him to emigrate. He went to Chile, where he died. As head of the Berlin orphanage, Finkelstein made a detailed study of the causes of diarrhea in newborn babies and came to the conclusion that many infant alimentary disorders are due to metabolic disturbances rather than to bacteria. This led him on to research which resulted in the discovery that carbohydrate and salt in milk are the principal causes of diarrhea in babies. He introduced "albumin milk," and thereby succeeded in substantially reducing infant mortality at the orphanage. Finkelstein proceeded to make a new clinical classification of alimentary disorders based on metabolic disturbances, dyspepsia, and alimentary toxication. He made studies of several other children's diseases, particularly those connected with the skin. His Lehrbuch der Saeuglingskrankheiten (1905) covered his findings in this field. He also published Hautkrankheiten und Syphilis im Saeuglings-und Kindesalter (1924).


S.R. Kagan, Jewish Medicine (1952), 363.

[Suessmann Muntner]

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