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December 8, 1888


JAMA. 1888;XI(23):814-815. doi:10.1001/jama.1888.02400740022005

Will tapping and draining the ventricles of the brain become a definite and legitimate surgical procedure? This question we can answer only by considering a recent paper1 by that rarely accomplished anatomist and careful surgeon, Dr. W. W. Keen, in which he records a case under the following title: " Exploratory trephining and puncture of the brain almost to the lateral ventricle. For intracranial Pressure supposed to be due to an Abscess in the Temporo-sphenoidal Lobe. Temporary Improvement; Death on the Fifth Day; Autopsy; Meningitis with Effusion into the Ventricles. With a description of a proposed Operation to tap and drain the Ventricles as a definite Surgical Procedure."

The patient was a scrofulous child, æt. 14 years, with a purulent discharge from the ear for six months or more, sudden vomiting evidently cerebral, headache, a tender spot above and in front of the left ear and at no other point, possible

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