Ralph B. Bettman, M.D.
JAMA. 1954;154(16):1371-1372. doi:10.1001/jama.1954.02940500051025.
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To the Editor:—  The relative intrathoracic pressure is of vital importance in establishing the diagnosis and/or the treatment in certain intrathoracic pathological conditions. For example, the distinction between a simple or tension pneumothorax following an automobile injury or in a spontaneous pneumothorax will determine whether a simple aspiration or the insertion of an indwelling catheter is called for. If the patient is in a hospital where the standard type of pneumothorax machine is available, true readings can be easily obtained. But, in the usual outpatient emergency room or even on the floors of most hospitals, such an instrument is not readily accessible; however, a very excellent substitute will always be available.This substitute is an ordinary 2 cc. hypodermic syringe. If this simple apparatus is used in the manner to be described, very satisfactory information can be procured. The 2 cc. syringe is moistened, and the little metal clip holding


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