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JAMA 100 Years Ago
November 27, 2002

BLOOD-LETTING AND BLISTERING IN THE TREATMENT OF PNEUMONIA.*

Author Affiliations
 

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2002;288(20):2620. doi:10.1001/jama.288.20.2620

JAMES TYSON, M.D.
PHILADELPHIA.

There are two periods in the course of a croupous pneumonia in which blood-letting may be of service; first, in the early stage for the relief of pain and dyspnea, and second, in an advanced stage where there is engorgement of the right heart, also associated with intense dyspnea and general venous stasis.

No remedy is so efficient for the first object as blood-letting by the application of cut cups. Poultices, counter-irritation by the various measures commonly employed and even full doses of morphin hypodermically, are comparatively valueless as compared with wet cupping. Full doses of morphin produce temporary relief, but it passes away as soon as the effect of the drug wears off. No one who has not seen the happy result of such a bleeding can realize it. Venesection at the arm is less efficient, although it, too, relieves engorgement and diminishes pain and dyspnea. By no means every case of pneumonia, however, demands such treatment, and it is especially the cases associated with pleurisy—pleuropneumonia—in which it is indicated and is of such signal service.

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