There are few diseases that have perplexed the profession so generally since the earliest times as has empyema. Even in this advanced era of medical development, there is no agreement as to the treatment, as is evidenced by the various methods advocated, the persistent incidence of chronic empyema and the extreme variations in mortality incidental to treatment by various methods. Because during the several stages of the disease the patient requires the attention of those specializing in various branches of medicine, every effort should be made by the medical profession to recognize the etiologic factors in the condition, to be familiar with methods of avoiding it, to make an early diagnosis and thus control the course of the condition and, if possible, to determine a more routine method of treatment with the minimum of mortality. As a rule, the patient first comes under the care of the general practitioner; he
LOCKWOOD AL. THE EMPYEMA PROBLEM. Arch Surg. 1928;16(1):297–321. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1928.01140010301020
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