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In presenting for your consideration the subject of the surgical treatment of empyema in children, I am sure that no apology will be necessary, when we consider that more than half the cases of empyema recorded occur during the first decade of life; and that more errors of diagnosis are made than in probably any other thoracic affection.
Definition.—By empyema we mean a collection of pus in the pleural cavity, the abscess bounded upon one side with the soft, receding, compressible lung, and upon the other side with the firm unyielding bony chest wall. And in the consideration of its surgical treatment, we must remember the ever-present surgical maxim, that "wherever we have a pus collection, it must be evacuated in the speediest, safest, and most thorough manner."
Causes.—It is not my purpose in this paper to enter into a consideration of the various causes giving rise to empyema, but
STEELE DAK. SURGICAL TREATMENT OF EMPYEMA IN CHILDREN.Read in the Section on Surgery, at the Thirty-ninth Annual Meeting of the American Medical Association, Cincinnati, May 10, 1888.. JAMA. 1888;XI(20):688–689. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400710004001a