The average treatment of empyema is still far from satisfactory and decidedly behind the present state of surgical science. Tardy diagnosis, inefficient drainage and slovenly after-treatment are the most frequent causes of failure, retarded convalescence and great deformity, results which, though much less frequent than formerly, are not seldom encountered at this late day. The operative treatment of the disease is too often undertaken by those unfamiliar with modern surgical methods. It is high time that a greater respect for the chest should be impressed upon practitioners who appear to regard the treatment of pleural suppurations lightly, and as a fair field for any one able to insert a tube and diligently use a syringe.
The rational treatment of suppurating pleurisies is simple and well known to competent surgeons. Early diagnosis, prompt and efficient drainage, and aseptic after-treatment summarize the whole matter. It is only in the details of technique
DUNN JH. THE TREATMENT OF EMPYEMA. JAMA. 1901;XXXVII(17):1081–1087. doi:10.1001/jama.1901.62470430005001a
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