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December 15, 1923


Author Affiliations

Adjunct Surgeon, Peoples Hospital; Attending Surgeon, Child Welfare Board; Instructor in Operative Surgery, Post-Graduate Medical School and Hospital NEW YORK

JAMA. 1923;81(24):2017-2019. doi:10.1001/jama.1923.02650240021007

Numerous articles have appeared in the literature since the war giving arguments pro and con regarding the open and closed methods of treating empyema. The report of the United States Empyema Commission gives very definite facts and data as to the best methods of treating empyema. Its work is conclusive, and has thrown much new light on the subject. Ashhurst1 says that the conclusion of the empyema commission and the consensus of clinical experience as far as treatment is concerned may be summed up as follows: (a) cases of pleural effusion suspected of being purulent should be aspirated, and if the effusion is massive, most of it should be removed by aspiration one or two days before resection of the rib is undertaken; (b) if the fluid found on puncture is serous or seropurulent, resection usually may be postponed until frank pus has formed, as the delay will permit

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