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July 25, 1977

Pulmonary Medicine

Author Affiliations

New Orleans

JAMA. 1977;238(4):349. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280040069034

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Understanding the results of blood gas analyses and other tests of pulmonary function is becoming a necessity for almost every physician who has to treat his patients in a hospital. The first five chapters of Pulmonary Medicine can show him how to interpret these tests, if not on his first reading of the book, then on his second or third. The eight contributors to Pulmonary Medicine also tell him how to recognize and treat asthma, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and other diseases and how and when to use mechanical ventilators.

Mechanical ventilatory support is a last resort in the management of status asthmaticus, according to Welch, who emphasizes the need for high inspiratory pressures and slow rates. His discussions of asthma include immunotherapy, methyl xanthine and sympathomimetic bronchodilator drugs, and aerosolized corticosteroids. He finds cromolyn sodium useful for the hard-to-manage patient and questions the value of mucolytic enzymes.

Mucociliary clearance mechanisms cannot