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June 14, 1958

Tracheotomy: A Clinical and Experimental Study

JAMA. 1958;167(7):922. doi:10.1001/jama.1958.02990240122028

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The available literature dealing with tracheotomy is tremendous. The author had the courage and the energy to tackle this much-discussed subject and present a detailed and comprehensive study. This book starts with the story and evolution of tracheotomy, going from the first authentic discussion by Galen to its presently accepted position. The second part gives a detailed clinical analysis of indications, technique, and complications in 300 patients on whom this operation was performed. Special emphasis is placed on the increase in number and scope of indications not only for mechanical but for a large variety of secretional obstructions. Avoidable technical errors, faulty aftercare, pneumothorax, mediastinal emphysema, and damage to the trachea by ill-fitting cannula are discussed, but little is said about the incidence and nature of postoperative infections of the tracheobronchial tree or, in this otherwise thorough study, the special problems encountered in handling tracheotomies in small children and newborn

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