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October 2, 1937

Current Comment

JAMA. 1937;109(14):1130-1131. doi:10.1001/jama.1937.02780400046015

END RESULTS OF RESPIRATOR TREATMENT  The immediate dramatic results of the use of respirators in failing pulmonary function has received too much attention to necessitate reemphasis. The eventual issue in patients who have received this form of treatment, especially over prolonged periods, is not so well understood. Thus Wilson1 reported that, in six children who had paralysis of the intercostal muscles and the diaphragm from poliomyelitis without complications, the Drinker respirator was efficient in maintaining pulmonary ventilation for long periods. The use of the machine, however, for nine children with bulbar paralysis without intercostal involvement, although it seemed helpful, was often ineffective. Only two of these nine children survived. In such cases, therefore, he recommends that the machine be employed only as an emergency measure and after every attempt has been made to free the pharynx from secretions. Except for moderate emphysema found at necropsy in three patients with

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