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August 17, 1970

Respiratory Failure From Contralateral Pneumothorax and Atelectasis

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesia and the Anesthesia Research Center, North-western University Medical School, and the Department of Anesthesia, Veterans Administration Research Hospital, Chicago.

JAMA. 1970;213(7):1179-1181. doi:10.1001/jama.1970.03170330059009

A 51-year-old white man was admitted to the hospital with persistent diarrhea. He was known to have Felty's syndrome,1 and had a palpable liver and spleen; the white blood cell count was 1,836/cu mm and the platelet count 60,000/cu mm; a rheumatoid deformity of his hands had been present for ten years. The hemoglobin level was 9.0 gm/100 cc and the hematocrit reading was 29%. There were ecchymoses on the patient's forearms; his legs were pigmented and there was a healing ulcer on the left leg. The patient's heart was slightly enlarged. Four years before he had been hypertensive and had congestive heart-failure. His lungs now sounded clear and the x-ray film of the chest was interpreted as being normal. Both fundi showed arteriosclerotic changes but the patient was normotensive and had a regular heart beat with a rate of 88 per minute. He was receiving digitalis (100 mg/day),