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JAMA 100 Years Ago
June 7, 2000

Treatment of Valve Pneumothorax.

Author Affiliations

JenniferReiling, Editorial Assistant

JAMA. 2000;283(21):2765. doi:10.1001/jama.283.21.2765-JJY00015-5-1

Even when there is a perforation from the lung into the pleural cavity, air does not enter the latter except when forced in by efforts of coughing. Consequently the cough must be prevented, and in a recent communication (Bull. Soc. des Hop., April 12) A. Beclère advocates subcutaneous injections of morphin for this purpose. He also describes a contrivance for diagnosis and treatment, which has rendered him efficient service: a hypodermic needle connected by a rubber tube with a glass tube bent into an L. The longer end is inserted in a test-tube filled with water. Capillary puncture of the pleura in an intercostal space with this contrivance not only serves to differentiate valve pneumothorax but also to cure it, allowing the escape of the accumulated air without danger of subcutaneous emphysema.