The treatment of pulmonary or bronchial suppuration is a frequent task of the otolaryngologist who devotes a portion of his time to bronchology. His efforts in this field are identical to his efforts in the treatment of suppurative sinus disease, where they are directed toward restoring the normal physiologic function through establishing and maintaining adequate drainage. The mechanical drainage of the pathologic secretions in the bronchi is accomplished by the action of the cilia, the respiratory movements, the tussive squeeze of the cough reflex, the cough itself and, finally, expectoration. This drainage depends to a large degree on the liquefaction of these secretions by the action of the glands of the more normal bronchial mucosa. That these processes, both the cellular activity and the more gross mechanical ones, may be immeasurably aided by expectorants, by postural drainage and by bronchoscopic suction is well recognized. Means of increasing the efficiency of
HOLINGER P, BASCH EP, PONCHER HG. THE INFLUENCE OF EXPECTORANTS AND GASES: ON SPUTUM AND THE MUCOUS MEMBRANES OF THE TRACHEOBRONCHIAL TREE. JAMA. 1941;117(9):675–678. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820350015005
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