The subject to which I wish to call your attention is one much neglected, though very near to us all, especially to those of us who live in the regions to which tuberculous patients are most frequently sent in all stages of the disease.
Just why abscesses and cavities in the lungs should be allowed to run their course of breakdown and produce infection of the other lung and a pyemic condition of the system is hard to explain in these days of exploitation in all parts of the human body. It is partly due to the timidity of the physician in recommending, and in operating for, the relief of the suppurative process as elsewhere, but chiefly to the reluctance of the patient to submit to operation when there is yet time to do good by such interference.
Of course it would not be good surgery to subject a patient
WILLS LM. EXTERNAL DRAINAGE OF LUNG CAVITIES.. JAMA. 1901;XXXVI(1):19–22. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.52470010019001d
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