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July 16, 1927


JAMA. 1927;89(3):172-173. doi:10.1001/jama.1927.02690030004003

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It is almost axiomatic that we learn as much from our mistakes as from our successes. My purpose in this report is to call attention to a case in which an error in the technic of oxygen inflation of a knee joint was followed by pulmonary embolism and cardiovascular failure, and nearly resulted in a catastrophe. I have injected so many joints with oxygen without the slightest untoward result that I had come to the conclusion that the procedure is entirely harmless. During my early experience with pneumarthrosis, I often used too strong a current and injected more of the gas than was necessary, and though I did not deflate the joints I did not see any ill effects. The joint was widely distended and the superfluous gas infiltrated the subcutaneous and intermuscular planes and the muscles themselves. The gas was gradually absorbed, disappearing in from eighteen to seventy-two hours.

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