November 3, 1917


Author Affiliations

Oakland, Calif.

JAMA. 1917;LXIX(18):1522. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.25910450003014c

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A man, with advanced pulmonary tuberculosis of the lungs, and extensive pleuritic adhesions, was given nitrogen injections in an attempt to induce pneumothorax.

The treatment was begun at 3: 15. The manometer failed to register oscillations so necessary for safety. This fact, however, was unfortunately disregarded, and from 15 to 20 c.c. of gas were allowed to flow slowly into the left thorax. In two or three minutes the patient complained of "cramp" in the right leg. He was turned over, on the supposition that the "cramp" was due to position, strain or compression. The operator's attention was then distracted for a moment, and when he again looked at the patient he noticed that the head rotated to the right, that the right arm and leg were paralyzed, and that the patient was unconscious. The eyes were turned to the right, the skin was pale, and the veins stood out

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