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Article
March 4, 1933

USE OF INHALATIONS OF CARBON DIOXIDE TO PREVENT POSTOPERATIVE PULMONARY COMPLICATIONS

JAMA. 1933;100(9):681. doi:10.1001/jama.1933.02740090053030

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Abstract

To the Editor.  —In reply to Dr. Yandell Henderson's comment on my paper on the use of carbon dioxide as a preventive of postoperative pulmonary complications, I should like to restate my position as follows.

  1. I have no desire to minimize the importance of adequate postoperative bronchial drainage. I believe that the concept of bronchial obstruction and atelectasis answers many, though by no means all, of the questions arising in connection with postoperative pulmonary complications.

  2. I conclude from my series that bronchial drainage by either postural change or carbon dioxide inhalation prevents a certain proportion of complications, and that one method is no more effective than the other, but that since postural change is easier and less expensive it is the method of choice. It is still being used at the Massachusetts General Hospital.

  3. So far as the use of carbon dioxide is concerned, I disagree with Dr. Henderson as

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