[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
November 27, 1981

Procedures in Practice

JAMA. 1981;246(21):2495-2499. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320210057031

This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.


One of the most interesting features of the British Medical Journal is its series of brief (usually three to six pages) illustrated discussions of procedures often employed in hospital practice. These discussions include the indications, contraindications, step-by-step instructions, and possible complications in the performance of these procedures.

This little publication offers the discussions in the same format as they appeared in the "BMJ," except for "minor revisions to take account of comments [since their original publication] by readers."

While the subject matter is presented with appropriate admonitions, there are a number of refreshing (and therefore memorable and all the more useful) comments. For example:

Kidney biopsy techniques: "If there is any doubt about their adequacy, obtain another specimen rather than risk having to repeat the whole performance later when you receive a histology report reading 'medulla only.'"

Lumbar puncture: "A dry tap is usually due to a failure of technique.