Are patients with pericardial effusions aspirated early and often enough? Are patients with simple serous effusions permitted to die as the result of increasing intrapericardial pressure because of the lack of aspiration? If these two questions are answered in the affirmative why do we fail so often to institute this remedial measure?
We raise these questions because in the last few years one of us (C. S. W.) has had under his direct observation four cases of pericarditis with effusion of a simple serous character in which, according to his best judgment, life might have been saved if aspiration had been employed. To justify this statement a brief synopsis of these cases is here given.
REPORT OF CASES
—I was called late in the forenoon by my intern at the hospital who stated that a patient had been admitted the night before with what he believed to be
WILLIAMSON CS, ETS HN. THE RATIONALE OF THERAPEUTIC PUNCTURE IN PERICARDIAL EFFUSIONS: AN EXPERIMENTAL STUDY. Arch Intern Med (Chic). 1926;38(2):206–216. doi:10.1001/archinte.1926.00120260064005
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