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October 1971

Lung Puncture and Aspiration

Am J Dis Child. 1971;122(4):277. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1971.02110040061001

The superb paper in this issue (page 278) from Chile by Mimica and co-workers on studies of lung puncture in 543 infants and children will serve as a landmark in promoting an old technique which fell into the discard with the advent of antimicrobial agents. The very low complication rate reported should do much to allay the fears of those who have refrained from employing this helpful procedure. The authors verify once again the increasing likelihood of obtaining a pathogen as one compares cultures from the nasopharynx with those from the trachea and finally from lung puncture. No one can deny that organisms from within an area of pneumonitis are more likely to prove to be causative agents than those present in the nasopharynx.

Several criticisms may be leveled at the present study, namely the limitations of the culture medium for Hemophilus influenzae and Mycoplasma and the inadequacy of the

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