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July 27, 1912


JAMA. 1912;LIX(4):264-269. doi:10.1001/jama.1912.04270070263008

The application of negative tension in the treatment of acute and subacute empyema is now recognized as one of the practical results of the recent development of thoracic surgery. Furthermore, the cases here to be reported—cases which I would designate as "chronic unopened empyema"—furnish unquestionable proof that extensive chronic empyemas in which the cavities have not been exposed to postoperative pneumothorax and unchecked secondary infection may be cured by this simple means

Case 1.—History.  —S. H., a watchmaker, aged 43, complaining of cough and a discharging sinus in the left loin, was seen at the request of Dr. Lafleur on Oct. 24, 1911. In January, 1905, the patient had had pneumonia and was confined to bed for eight weeks. Subsequently, the persistence of nocturnal cough and the occurrence of occasional attacks of fever and night sweats rendered him unfit for work except for a few days or weeks at

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