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October 5, 1940


JAMA. 1940;115(14):1186-1188. doi:10.1001/jama.1940.72810400001009

During the past three years a new aspiration method of obtaining sputum at the Hospital for Sick Children has been in use. With one attempt it is usually possible to obtain sufficient sputum from the larynx or nasopharynx for direct examination and cultural purposes. The apparatus consists of a glass syringe, a catheter and a simple valve arrangement which permits powerful intermittent suction. By use of this method it has been learned that in children the nasopharynx is an ideal source for obtaining sputum for typing pneumococci in early cases of pneumococcic pneumonia, while sputum from the larynx is more suitable for examination in cases of tuberculosis, whooping cough or pneumonia due to a mixed infection.1 The type of pneumococcus found in the nasopharynx has agreed in most cases with the type found in exudates, blood cultures and lung cultures at postmortem examination whenever these examinations have been possible.

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