Letters |

To Err With Air

Homer V. Hartzell, MD
JAMA. 1964;188(8):763. doi:10.1001/jama.1964.03060340060027.
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To the Editor:—  My primary reason for writing this paper seems to have been obscured. It was to alert all practitioners to the fallacies of the routine use of the air contrast barium enema to the total exclusion of other methods of roentgenologic examination of the colon.For several years I had been increasingly concerned and distressed as I came across serious mistakes resulting from air contrast studies of the colon done to the exclusion of other x-ray studies. When the number of such cases reached 20 and I found that these mistakes had been made by 12 different board-certified radiologists, I felt I should report my findings. I therefore prepared and delivered a rather lengthy, extensively documented paper on this subject before the Pacific Northwest Radiological Society, in Vancouver, BC, on May 11, 1963. This paper was so well received by the more than 100 radiologists in attendance that


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