Why is it that pneumonia, medical as well as postoperative, is a problem that has yielded less to attack by bacteriology, serology and preventive medicine than has the prevention or cure of any other common infectious disease?1 This symposium will show, I believe, that the answer may be found in the fact that there is a functional element in pneumonia which is generally lacking in the other diseases with which the internist deals. This element cannot be combated from the side of bacteriology or serology. Fortunately, if taken in time, it can be combated from the side of the physiology of respiration.
Because the treatment of pneumonia has belonged chiefly to the internist, among whose problems the factor of drainage is not usually significant, the importance of keeping open the normal channels of drainage in the lung has been overlooked. Infection in lobar pneumonia certainly takes place by way
HENDERSON Y. THE PHYSIOLOGY OF ATELECTASIS. JAMA. 1929;93(2):96-98. doi:10.1001/jama.1929.02710020012005