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November 15, 1930


Author Affiliations

From Surgical Service B, University of Pennsylvania Hospital, and the Laboratory of Research Surgery, University of Pennsylvania.

JAMA. 1930;95(20):1484-1489. doi:10.1001/jama.1930.02720200020006

During the past decade, discussions of postoperative pulmonary complications have concerned themselves for the most part with pathologic processes within the lung itself. As a result of this, surgeons have been confronted with a rapidly changing nomenclature in relation to the pulmonary condition which so frequently follows abdominal operations and which later either disappears or progresses into a classic postoperative pneumonia. Hypostatic congestion, multiple embolic phenomena and pneumonitis are familiar conditions. More recently attention has been focused on the thick, viscid mucus, the bronchial tree, and atelectasis. After it was established that occlusion of a main bronchus caused massive or lobar collapse, the papers of Elwyn,1 Mastics, Spittler and McNamee,2 Lee and Tucker3 and others began to appear in which were described a more diffuse process, a lobular atelectasis, presumably caused by mucous occlusion of smaller bronchi. Practically every writer on this subject has emphasized the sequence

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