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May 25, 1964

To Err With Air

JAMA. 1964;188(8):762. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060340060025

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To the Editor:—  In "To Err With Air" Dr. Hartzell poses two problems in roentgenologic diagnosis of colonic lesions. The double contrast method is on its way out, and the machine is more important than the man.The "double contrast" method of examining the colon has been thoroughly tested and is generally accepted. Those who understand its advantages and disadvantages and use it properly gather a great deal of useful information. Those who misuse the method obtain poor films. Figure 2 in "To Err With Air" is a good example of a poor result.In attempting to set the machine over man, the author uses the "colon-filled-with-barium," spot films, and high voltage (100 to 125 kv) technique. The technique, like the double contrast method, has advantages and disadvantages. Small and even large lesions can and do become lost in a mass of barium. All parts of the colon cannot

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