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November 2, 1957

Pulmonary Complications of Abdominal Surgery

JAMA. 1957;165(9):1217-1218. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980270127039

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The material for this monograph was taken from the 1955 Moynihan Prize Essay and a thesis on the effect of abdominal operations on the mechanical function of the lungs. It is a sincere piece of work and particularly worthwhile, since most of the experiments were performed by the author. Anscombe concludes that abdominal operations adversely affect the mechanical functions of the lungs by reducing the total lung capacity and maximal inspiratory and expiratory flow rates. The causes of such phenomena are discussed theoretically. Since the subject is controversial, its immediate clinical applications are questionable. The author believes that in some instances morphine in small, spaced doses may have a more beneficial effect on pulmonary function than is generally supposed. Such subjects as the influence of tight dressings, abdominal distention, hydration, early mobilization, breathing exercises, and postural drainage are discussed in an interesting manner. This book can be recommended to anyone

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